October 5, 2008

A Day Of Shopping Firsts

Today, a rainy Sunday, we did some shopping.

First stop was UNIQLO (Get it? Unique Clothing. It's one of those Japanesey abbreviations.), which is the closest thing we can get to an Old Navy out here. Although the main goal was to get some casual kids for our (growing) kids, today marked a momentous day for Mike. He purchased his first article of clothing in Japan! Thats right, Mike actually found a pair of pants that fit him here. It was probably some fatty size, but hey - he'll take it. But there was a bit of disappointment too. Mike discovered they had XL sizes and saw a whole bunch of cool Japanese anime and character t-shirts. Alas, after trying on, it turns out that UNIQLO XL is quite a bit smaller that a U.S. size Large. The, ahem, form-fitting t-shirts were left behind.

Today was also Ilena's first outside-of-the-US visit to Costco. There is one in Amagasaki, and it is quite popular. The main purpose of the trip was to purchase food and drinks for an upcoming school event that Ilena is coordinating, and so she was able to get a ride out there with a friend.

Surprisingly, after months of purchasing day-by-day in our local supermarket, Ilena was overwhelmed by the Costco experience. This after being a twice-a-week Costco shopper back in NJ. The massiveness and bulk-size of it all was quite a contrast to what we have gotten used to. We hear that Japanese people form sharing co-ops to split up the bulk items they purchase at Costco. With its variety and prices, it is insanely popular here. Seeing kimono-clad women pushing around those ginormous shopping carts loaded down with groceries was pretty funny. Shopping there on a rainy Sunday afternoon (the places was packed to the gills) was rough, but we did score some familiar (and formerly staple) items for ourselves like gummy bears, the large bag of frozen strawberries, and chocolate covered raisins. Most importantly, from Jacob's perspective, Ilena came home with a monster fresh baked Costco Pizza. Tasted just like home.

While it was nice to get a little taste of home, we will probably stick to the day-to-day bike trips to our local supermarket.


jmgesq said...

I do think the relationship with food is different when you shop daily. It's lucky that you are in that environment and can see it in contrast. Do they have the same brands etc. (e.g. raisinets) at Costco in Japan??? Hard to believe!

Lisa said...

you mean KIRKLAND brand chocolate covered raisins!