Sunday, October 26, 2008

Groceries and Engrish

Mikans are a type of Mandarin orange that are currently in season. They are easily available at a very low cost, and are very good. There has been a recent diet fad here in Japan called the Morning Banana diet. It involves eating a banana for breakfast with water, and retaining a normal diet for lunch and supper. I think the fad was way more popular in summer compared to now, but I guess some areas in Japan are still having severe banana shortages. Nagasaki isn’t one of them. I’ve had a banana for breakfast almost every day since I’ve got here.

I recently noticed an interesting sentence on a container of honey that seems to promote cannibalism. The text reads "A healthy person please eat the person that thereis not confidence in health."

My host mother does not have a car; she takes a bus to work. My host brother does have a car, but he lives elsewhere and is only around on weekends. For people such as my host mother that do not have cars, groceries can come via delivery motorcycle. There is a company called Co-op, which is like a generic brand name that carries virtually everything, and they offer delivery. The Co-op brand is sold in grocery stores, and I am unsure if my host mother orders through one of the stores or Co-op directly. Regardless, once a week, a motorcycle shows up with a bunch of red and white coolers to drop off the goods, and comes by beforehand the next week to pick them up. I’m not sure how widespread the delivery system is; it would seem pretty inefficient to rely on motorcycles to transport stuff when they can only carry enough for one customer at a time. However, something like a Schwann truck would be physically incapable of travelling down many of the very narrow side roads.

The most popular grocery store chain in Nagasaki is called Lawson’s. They are everywhere. Lawson’s stores are more like a 7/11 instead of a Kroger, but you can get pretty much anything you need there. There are many, many malls and shopping centers in Nagasaki, but nothing really like a Super Wal-Mart except a place called Seiyu. The bottom floor is a big grocery store, and the upper floors have random non-food stuff. There is also a book store and a McDonald’s inside. Oh, and Seiyu is owned by Wal-Mart. They happen to carry Wal-Mart's “Great Value” brand, which is, ironically, more expensive than a lot of the name brand stuff.

Hello Kitty is still very popular here with girls that are of a younger age. Many stores have sections devoted to Hello Kitty themed stuff. Pokemon is still popular too; McDonald's currently has some kind of Pokemon promotion thing going on.


jeff chauvin said...

hey ive really enjoyed ur blogs. eric has too, not sure if hes left u any messages or not. keep up the good work. by the way, cant remember if u ever told us about smart toilets.

clueless gaijin said...

Hey Jeff, thanks for the support. I'll see if I can figure out what all the buttons do, and I'll post something on the toilets soon.