Aug. 13th, 2011

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Posting these on Facebook got such a reaction from my friends and family back home, it reminded me of how overwhelmed I was by the sheer oddness of Japan when I first got here. My first few months, I was always tired, from the constant overstimulation and barrage of weird stuff everywhere I went. Even a trip to the supermarket was like a trip to Wonderland.

Nearly four years later, it takes a LOT more to make me stop and think, "Wow, that's odd..." Fully grown man in a Pikachu costume dancing in the park? Meh. Sushi ordered via touchscreen, which arrives at your table on a plastic space shuttle? No big deal. Port-a-potty in a town stricken by a massive tsunami three weeks earlier, stocked with pink Hello Kitty toilet paper? Yeah, so?

Liam and I were at Don Quijote the other night, looking at camping gear and shopping for groceries. Don Quijote is a huge store which sells EVERYTHING. It's like Wal-Mart on acid. My local one sells everything from groceries, to adult costumes and "novelty items," to cell phones, to cars, and literally everything in between. When I first moved to Ota, our local Don Qui was quite small. Only one level, with only a small corner for selling non-perishable food, and was packed to the gills with stuff. I remember getting hopelessly lost in there one night, trying to find my way out of the labyrinth of boxes and random merchandise. I turned around and got smacked in the face with a hanging pillow shaped like boobs. Lost among the boob pillows...

About two years after I arrived, our local Don Qui expanded. HOOO BOY did they expand! They now have an entire supermarket, and cover two huge floors of the shopping center by Ota Station. Because it's just "spittin' distance" from my new pet kennel--oops, sorry, I mean apartment, I usually shop there for groceries, toiletries, make-up, household goods, office supplies, and pretty much anything else I might need. Liam and I took a few pics the other night. Seeing how my Facebook friends reacted reminded me how weird Japan truly is. We saw this stuff at the place we shop for groceries. (Also a few unrelated pics included.)

Make with the clickety! )

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