Saturday, January 16, 2010

Getting Cultured. Like Bacteria.

Yes, yes, two blog entries in one day. Two days in a row. What can I say? It's been a busy week.

Last night, we experienced our first earthquake since we've been here. This consisted of about 3 hours of Midget acting like she was losing her mind, 10 seconds of some rather disconcerting motion, an exchange of "did you feel that?", and a return to pre-quake activities.

Today, we decided that we needed to expose ourselves to some Japanese culture today. No, not like that, you perverts. Anyway, naturally we gravitated towards the commonly accepted cultural mecca, the one place where one can observe, participate in, and purchase culture.

Namely, the mall.

They love brightly colored and very busy signs here. When you put a bunch together...can we say, "sensory overload"?
Then we went by the arcade. I don't think this picture actually needs a caption:
This is easily the most complicated, baffling game I've ever witnessed, even rivaling the migraine-inducing insanity of Pachinko:
Remember those games at the fair or at Circus Circus where the machine keeps pushing quarters closer to the edge? And you tried to make it push more of them over the edge so you could win them? It's kind of like that. But not. It involves some sort of joystick that's rapidly spun, causing coins to shoot all over the place while more coins fall down and a ball runs around on some complicated system of tubes and some jars of coins randomly fall over and...pardon me, my eyes just crossed. We watched for a while, but couldn't make heads or tails of it, which made me feel incredibly stupid, because the little girl scratching her butt in the foreground seemed rather adept at the game. Well, as near as I could tell. For all I know, she was getting PWNed, but...I...fuck, I have no idea.

Onward! This is what chicks in Japan are wearing these days:
Happy price indeed...
(That's about $10)

Look! Culture!
I'm assuming this is some variety of Japanese wedding dress, since this was a bridal display. My understanding of Kanji is limited to "Okinawa", so I have no idea what the little placard said. I know. I fail.


Now, I have mentioned many times before that the vending machine population here rivals that of the cockroach. Apparently that isn't limited to machines that dispence sodas, candy, used panties, and cigarettes. Remember those little machines that spit out cheap toys in impossible to open plastic bubbles?

We has dem:
This was but one of many rows of those machines in this mall. If some crazy virus goes around and turns every vending machine in the world into metal-and-plastic zombies, Okinawa is fucked.

Now, this wouldn't have caught my eye, but with some impeccable timing, it did:
Just as we walked past, a security guard came down the hallway, stopped with his feet on the yellow footprints. He said something in Japanese, bowed, and walked on. I have no idea why.

Moving right along...
There's a "big O" joke in that picture somewhere...

From the main area of the mall, we moved on to Jusco, which is Okinawa's answer to Sears. There, we found flying pans. No, really:
Then we found this little display, which shattered my illusions that the little vase I found on the beach was some sort of priceless Ming dynasty pottery:
From Jusco, we went to the supermarket. Yes, there is a supermarket in the mall, and yes, we went in with our cameras. And yes, people were looking at us funny.

I was thirsty as all hell, so these large jugs of water looked mighty enticing:
Pity they were Y1300 (about $13). Probably would have been nice and refreshing. Not sure what the "25% by volume" on the label meant...

This wasn't terribly surprising:
This was a bit...erm...different. Spam sushi, anyone?
So many jokes here, so many...
...but I won't go there.

Apparently standard Pocky is not manly enough for today's men, so they have, being the progressive people they are, come out with new Men's Pocky:
Now, men can enjoy Pocky without compromising their masculinity.

Japanese grocery stores are wicked cool. You can buy all different brands of heroin by the kilo, and it's cheap as shit:
Eddie, so help me God, if you try to cook that in my house...
Is that...deep-fried cantaloupe?
So there you have it. A day of immersing ourselves in Okinawan culture after the terrifying near-death experience of an earthquake.

Oh, and last time we were out, I bought a pair of Shi Shi dogs, which I forgot to post. Here's one of them:

Next trip out in town? God only knows where we'll be going. No doubt someplace we shouldn't while behaving like morons.


  1. I love Pocky!! It's super-expensive, considering what it is, but I occasionally treat myself to a box when I'm grocery shopping.