Now I knew going into Japan I would struggle with food. I am a very picky eater and have the taste palette of a five year old. I knew they would have white rice so I was sure I could sustain myself on that. Of the main crew traveling, Yasiel’s mom is quite finicky on her foods and so is Lisette, my spirit sister Coke drinker. Ely is Vegan, so there is that. Yasiel obviously is Cuban so I think he will eat anything, he knows what it means to be hungry, and Andrea will eat more diversely than Yasiel! One must understand a little bit of the women that Yasiel had to deal with on this trip and our eating demands and needs.
Besides the breakfasts, and I ate breakfast most mornings simply because there was American food available which was wonderful, most of the other meals were planned for us and of course wanted to highlight and feature their fancy cuisine. Most of their cuisine is not cooked, and they use every part of everything for everything. I remember there being what looked like a pudding that had a brown topping on the pudding. Andrea of course tried it do see what the hell it was. She wrinkled and almost gagged a bit thinking it wouldn’t taste like what it tasted like. She asked Lily and they were able to ask what it was. It was the lining of crabs lungs, on top of their pudding.
If I could spot a Starbucks, I knew I could grab a coffee and if hungry a pastry or something to tied me over. Starbucks is a safe haven around the world for me. It is familiarity, it’s predictable and I get what I expect and hope especially when I am longing for something familiar, it’s usually very clean, which also means their bathrooms are great to use and won’t cost typically because inside the Starbucks. Some people might have that feeling with a McDonalds or Burger King because also seen many places, but Starbucks is mine. I’m telling you it’s like a traveling wubie. I rarely drink Starbucks in my town because I make my own iced coffee at home, but when you are gone, that is one thing you can count on and makes me happy, genuinely.
I also learned that if there was something I needed or I wanted to take more time with, just stick with Yasiel. It’s hard for someone to bitch at him if he is happy and doing what he is wanting. So if I saw a Starbucks, hell if he saw a Starbucks, he knew Topeka was wanting one and we were off. One time we were off and threw off the entire bus schedule because we were parked over 6 minutes longer than intended. Kenny was our tour guide at this point and he was literally about to shit himself. He had followed us into Starbucks and was waiting for our drinks to arrive, dancing and fanning himself, trying to hustle us. We tried to assure him we would not go anywhere else except to the bus but I don’t believe he was trusting us. Yasiel, Lisette and I had an extremely expensive Starbucks compliments of the tour group because we went over the allotted time.
While we were in Tokyo and Lisette and I headed out to find a McDonalds or something familiar. At this point we had probably had three days of Japanese food which meant white rice for us, so McDonalds was a happy welcome that we walked extremely far in the flipping cold! I don’t think I understood how cold Japan really was, but that night with our walk let us know how cold and windy it could be.
We found our McDonalds and let’s just say it wasn’t really our McD’s. I have counted on McD’s also around the world but Japan let us down. We were able to get a burger, but I’m not sure I would say it was a burger, we did have fries and we were rushed out as quickly as we came in. They were closing and directly outside, you exited into a tunnel, not into the open. That was very common. I rarely saw fresh air unless walking to the bus or a temple. You really weren’t allowed to loiter outside in the tunnel so we were rushed and done.
Japanese most definitely are quiet people, and everything is very muted and quiet. You don’t really hear people laugh, and we aren’t really quite sure where people “hang”. Meaning if you were traveling whether with a group or not, most of the time you can hang and enjoy the lobby lounges, and such, not in Japan. Yasiel, Andrea, the two kids that were traveling with us ages 10 and 12 going on 40, and myself were playing a card game in the lobby. Long and short of it, we were asked to leave. Andrea explained we were guests of the hotel so they would let us stay, but we were not allowed to congregate or play cards. We would need to go to “our room”. I have no clue what nuclear family that would be with two red headed boys, me and then Yasiel and Andrea. So whose room would we be going to?
Car lovers will definitely enjoy Japan and the fun things you can do at each store. We went to the Nissan store and they have a cafe that you can put a picture on top of your coffees in your foam. Really a fun thing to do and everyone loved getting to see their picture in foam.
I love knowing how many of you follow along. It’s fun to hear. You are also welcome, hint hint to sign the guestbook or comment.
Lots of Love,