Thursday, September 9, 2010

She would go all the way to Italy for a stamp in her passport.

You thought I got through my entire trip to Japan in just 4 posts. Ha!

Actually the funnier part of that is I started the Japan posts and put part 1. And then Heather called me and said, "You only got through one day in part one!! How many parts are there going to be?!!" Of course the answer to that is: As many as I want.

Just some random reflections.

When I go on vacation with my sisters, there is always a food tour component. Carla (in particular) is still talking about the place we had breakfast in Chicago -- the Bongo Room. If you've checked out Heather's blog over the summer, you have certainly seen some of the amazing food she had in Japan.

I got kind of worried about that before I went. Heather was bummed she couldn't take me to all of the amazing restaurants, but I told her we would just have to consider this not a food tour. As unfortunate as it is.

Despite all that, I still ate some really amazing food. All of Heather's pictures of food were very Top Chef looking. And that carries over into all of the food. The Japanese are very serious about quality. They want things to be consistent and to look right. The other amazing thing is the fruit. It's incredibly expensive, but it tastes so amazing.

And I just keep thinking, sure, I can buy 2 lbs of strawberries for $2.50 in America, but when they have no flavor, why do I want to?

And oh the grapes! So, so good.

People have asked me if I learned any Japanese while I was there. I say sure, I learned konichiwa and arrigato.

And what I realized is that more than learning a spoken language, I learned the non-verbal language. I learned to bow. I can't even joke and tell people the two words that I learned without bowing.

It was so funny to me to walk through the train station and see the businessmen bow to each other. Even better than that were the people who bowed to the elevators. And best of all, the workers who bowed to the buses.

And I got another stamp in my passport.

Apparently I was way too out of it when I arrived in Tokyo, because I didn't even notice them put the stamp in. But then I flipped through my passport prior to departure and got really excited because there is a nice big stamp.

Which just makes me think (skip to about minute 8):

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