Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Shopping With My Aunties

When I said Mariko could be my proxy grandmother, I was wrong for two reasons. First, Mariko is not as old as I thought. I think she may be a tad older than my parents but not much. Second, Mariko and her friend, Motoko prefer to be called my "aunties". Not kidding, they actually told me I could call them that. The funny part came when I called them both grandmothers because the Japanese word for aunt is very very similar. They were not happy but forgave me after a stern lecture that they were not old enough and then a thorough lesson in the pronunciation of aunt to make sure I never called them grandmothers again. :)

Our day of shopping in Amagasaki, a suburb of Osaka began around 11:30am and lasted until 4:30pm. It was quite fun, we went to Costco, ate lunch, and went to another place as well. It was a good time and they both got a kick out of hanging out with me and I with them. Along with my entertaining shopping companions, I picked up a fifth of Jager which pleased me to no end to find. The Japanese are not that into black licorice flavored anything and I have had a hard time acquiring one of my more cherished liquors. Now we are united and nothing can stop us....at least until the bottle is gone.

Japanese Costcos are also quite amusing. There is almost no difference between the American Costcos and the Japanese counterparts. They are laid out the exact same way and have a lot of the same products. Japanese Costcos have an expansive sushi selection however. They also sell some things that definitely wouldn't fly in the United States, such as pickled jellyfish.

All in all, it was a fun day. After we went our seperate ways, I went into Osaka proper and hung out in Den Den Town for a bit. I love Osaka, but after Akihabara, Den Den Town is kind of pitiful. While in Osaka, I also stopped at the one bookstore that has a decent English selection and picked up a book to help me construct Japanese sentences the correct way with correct grammar and a fiction book called, Maximum Ride that I had heard about and thought it interesting.

Oh, before I forget, I had my first language exchange with Mari on Thursday and it went very very well. I like talking to Japanese people because they teach me phrases and words that I don't normally see in books. Mari finally explained to me what "giri giri" meant, as I have been searching and unable to find a suitable answer. I think the loose translation is something like "just enough". So if someone offers you a refill and your glass is already full, you say "giri giri ippai". I have also heard women say it to each other during games, right before it was someone's turn. I do not hear men say it often but I am happy to know what it means now. Native Japanese speakers can be useful for these kind of questions. But, Mari and I had a good time and it turns out we both like some of the same television shows and movies so that gives us something to talk about.

Anywho, I am going to go now and chill for a bit before I go to bed. This week I am in my Toyooka classroom and while that isn't a bad thing, the 1.5 hour trip each way gets to me sometimes.

Before I go, I will leave you with a picture of my Aunties and of Costco.

My "aunties" Motoko and Mariko:



At 3:38 PM, Anonymous Phyrry said...

All Costcos do look the same!

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous phear said...

I think all four Costcos in San Jose have expansive sushi selections. You might even find a fifth of Jager at them. Don't hate me, I'm just the messenger.

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