November 23 2017
I’ve titled this post “Hello, Japan!” in keeping with the theme I’ve got going but this is really a farewell post. We spent almost three years in Japan, exploring the country and the culture from our homeport in Sasebo. According to iPhoto, I captured more than 10,000 memories. Losing César in Japan will forever cast a shadow on our time there but we made so many good memories there, too.
As a love letter to Japan, here are my top 5 things I miss the most:
1. Public Restrooms
I know. It’s weird. But every time I walk into a public restroom in the States, I get a little weepy thinking about how good I had it in Japan. Cleanliness, privacy, heated seats and, most importantly, the soft trickle of running water to mask the sound and relax your bladder. Now I have to wait until someone flushes before I can go. Ugh.
I used to giggle every time I heard “thank you for waiting” in Japan because it was usually followed by a period of not waiting at all. I miss that. I feel like we wait a lot now. And no one ever says “thank you for waiting” with sincerity.
Why so serious, America? I know the climate is a little gloomy right now but that is exactly why we need cute, colorful kawaii to perk us up. I walked past an urgent care clinic a few days ago with a logo that resembled an EKG print out. Really? You know what would make people feel better about going to a clinic? A floppy eared dog with a stethoscope! Or a unicorn!! (Feel free to take these ideas and make them your own, Urgent Care Designers.)
4. Lemon Tea
It’s just not the same here. The bottled tea I’ve tried since returning tastes like it’s been spiked with chlorine and the bottles have weird brown residue settled at the bottom. So gross. Importing bottled tea is a little expensive so I recommend finding a nice Japanese market and stocking up.
5. Cute Cars with Great Gas Mileage
My hot pink car in Japan got 70 mpg. It had a built in nav system with free TV channels and bluetooth connectivity to my iPhone. Sure, it would never survive a high speed collision with a tank in the United States but it was fun to drive and super easy to spot in a parking lot. I love my FJ but it costs a boat load of cash to fill her up.
There are other things I will miss… like great, affordable veterinary care… and some things I won’t… like the lack of quality pet care supplies. Overall, Japan was great and I would definitely like to visit again someday. For now, I will hold onto the memories we made and look forward to new ones. Farewell, Japan.