Published: November 16th 2011November 16th 2011
(or Tokyo, at least. It's always dangerous to generalise...)
Prepare to have your mind blown in 3.......2.......1.......
-Escalator handrails are blue. (SEE? Amazing!)
-Uggs are VERY in. See also: knee high socks.
-Everyone is very tired. People fall asleep within seconds on the train.
-Convenience stores are ACTUALLY CONVENIENT. They are everywhere and they sell real food which tastes good and is super cheap! We get our breakfast there each day (pastry + can of coffee = $2) and often our lunch of onagiri too (rice balls with random stuff in the middle - bit of a lucky dip as labels are all Japanese...we were doing well til we picked 'fish roe' today...)
-Toilets have all these fancy buttons to spray water at ya, warm the seat, blow hot air at ya, play a 'toilet flushing' sound effect to disguise whatever terrible and unnatural things might be happening in that cubicle...and yet you have to push a lever like some kind of BARBARIAN to actually get the toilet to flush.
-Escalators play warning messages on repeat to tell you when you are getting to the top or bottom. Many pedestrian crossings also talk to you as you cross (presumably warning you not to get run over). They also chirp like an electronic bird while the man is green.
-Cashiers talk non stop while they are serving you. Obviously we have no idea what they are saying; and occasionally I can tell they've paused because they're waiting for my response (unless it's "arigato" they've got a long wait ahead of them), but generally it seems to be a stream of consciousness thing. As mum would say, "There's no need for a blow by blow account!"
-Smart phones are so not a thing here. I mean, we've seen a couple, but pretty much EVERYONE has flip phones. Who knew?
-Coins start as low as 1 yen. Your change very quickly gets ridiculous. It's so out of control that many cashiers have a machine that just dishes out the right change electronically otherwise they'd be there ALL NIGHT counting it out for you.
You're welcome for that fascinating insight into Tokyo. *cough*