Thursday, July 28, 2011

Retail Therapy

Retail therapy in Japan, for me, is a different monster than it is in America. I treat it more like a mix between museum hopping and a night at a comedy club. I don't buy anything because the USD is close to worthless, and English phrases can be hilarious. My other half is still away, so I'm stretching my awkward muscles to get out and see new things alone. Unfortunately, today it only got me to the mall. 

Lots of my awesome friends have flown off to exotic locales, told tales of the differences in life and culture, totally adapted, and then stopped telling the tales I love so much. I know it's happening to me since I've created ONE facebook photo album since I've been here! It's strange to think about, but we've almost been here for six months! Time FLIES.

So anyway, I'll share some of the fun that entertains me when my #1 is away. 

The most fun department is always the clothing, but it was a slow day and there were sales people checking me out the whole time I was perusing the merch. I felt kinda rude snapping pictures when they could see me/when they were watching me. 

So, next best place to look is the kids' toys. I had an obsession with Sanrio characters and Japanese office supplies in general in elementary school, so it's really not surprising that the kids' section brings me immense gratification. Childhood is where we are socialized into accepting the norms of our society, so I also think that, as a sociologist, kids' toys are important.

Have you ever seen a paper recycling toy in an American toy store? I only recognized the process because I made recycled paper on an awesome field trip to a museum in elementary school. Is that normal?

Step 1: Shred that paper up!
Step 2: Toss it in a blender and mash it!
Step 3: Pour some chemicals/bleach on it.
Step 4: Leave it to drain and dry!

I wish there was still room for Step 5 in my world. 

Next toy: Decorate Your Own Pencil Machine.

Why on Earth should you have to settle for a measly Ticonderoga when you could be wrapping pencils in your choice of glittery tape with the help of a trusty pencil-wrapping machine? Definitely let some charms dangle off the end or else you won't be popular. 

Now that you have paper and an unsharpened decorative pencil, why don't you make yourself some jewelry? We know you're a child and your hand-eye coordination sucks, so here's a machine so you don't need to worry about threading the beads onto your bracelet.

Ugh, I told myself I'd stop being sarcastic! So, I'll share the rest of my shopping trip and musings in photo and caption form:

I need a bag of time.
This isn't even snack packaging. It's just a notebook.
Full of dream, hope, and a bear!? The cup runneth over!
I'm kinda thinking about buying this bag. It describes my exact taste in music.
This was a little girls' shirt. "Dear my lover, I am very glad to meet you. Be not glad when it feels to the same"?
Don't you mean Hartford? Heart Ford is probably closer to Detroit.
Totally embarrassing shirt for a little kid. A. Lubricant brand? B. OUR MINI C. Nothing special, just small.
Sexy men's muscle shirts. "What's your favorite color?" should be a pick-up line at the bar.
Cheer on your local Iowa Conservatives!
I'm taking all the vigour.
It's just, so...personal.
Finalmente, some cigarette vending machines at YouMe Town mall. No need to check IDs!
Anyway, I hope other people get a kick out of my shopping trip. It's weird being by yourself for the majority of every day. Maybe blogging an entire shopping trip is insane and one of those tipping points psychologists look for, but I don't have any background in that. 

What did you think? Lay off the pretending to have a shopping partner? How do you like the pic sizes (I've enlarged them!)? Is it easier to scroll through when they are smaller? Is it more fun to see the detail when they are larger? I just took a test to see if I can qualify as a usability specialist and I'm obsessing over usability of my recreational blog now. Should I get professional help? Choose your own adventure!

xoxo Heather

1 comment:

  1. Catching up on your blog makes me happy : ) It's so good!

    I miss you!!!