Thursday, November 12, 2015

Welcome To Japan

We arrived in the Tokyo Airport almost two days ago.

So far, I've seen: 

Mountains every time I look to the west and I. Love. Mountains.
Groups of small children in matching school uniforms (heart in a puddle due to the cuteness level).
Cherry trees with the promise of explosive blooming come spring.
Sushi restaurants with conveyor belts of sushi (wut.)
And pine trees trained as bonsai trees that grow in crazy shapes (which if you've ever seen a pine tree, you know this is a huge improvement).
But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As soon as we got off the plane I was bombarded with the reality of Japanese stereotypes.

So to start things off today, I will address a few of these.

Welcome to today's Episode of NAME THAT JAPANESE STEREOTYPE where I will attempt to debunk 5 stereotypes I have encountered recently. (*disclaimer: If this sounds like something that will offend you, may I refer you to my OTHER blog (*disclaimer's disclaimer: that is not a real blog)  

Stereotype #1: Japanese people wear masks all the time. Truth. I guess THIS is how they maintain their "Rabies-Free" status.

Stereotype #2: Japanese people tend to be stylish. Truth. Several outfits made me want to ask "where'd you get that, girl?! I mean...kon'ichiwa."

Stereotype #3: Japanese people like cats. Truth. On the bus to Camp Zama I saw a building whose logo was a yellow oval with a black cartoon cat carrying another smaller black cartoon cat in its mouth. I can't even START to imagine what that company does... #cats #japan #taylorswift (whaaa? How'd that one get in there?) Also, maybe they're just partial, but this animal hospital looks a little discriminatory...

Stereotype #4: Japanese people have been into bangs WAY longer than Americans. Yesssssss. And they're still incredibly popular. I'll fit in just fine here.

Stereotype #5: Japanese people are very polite/nice. HA. Boy is THAT a load of........................................truth. 


Oakie and I landed in Tokyo at 3:30pm local time knowing that we had one shot at making the 4pm bus to Camp Zama or we would be stuck there till the 7pm bus rolled through. By the time we got through customs we had 10 minutes to make the bus. We asked the officer at customs and he pointed us in the right direction which was just outside, but Step One nonetheless. Oakie then leaves to ask around and 5 minutes later I see him pass me without a glance, laughing and chatting with a lovely Asian lady he seems to have just FOUND inside. He follows her across the street and they disappear into the crowd. 

By this point, I've been bumped into and apologized to no less than half a dozen times, we have 4 minutes to catch the bus and still no sign of Oakie. And then, just how you'd imagine it'd happen he comes sprinting through the crowd, tells me he found the bus, we're late, but they'll wait.

Insert a word problem math equation (looking at you Lindsay Lage):

Oakie & Caroline need to catch a bus in 3 minutes, but have 8 bags between them, 3 of which weigh over 65lbs. Considering time constraints and travel stress, what are the odds that they will catch the bus without murdering one another?

That's right! You got it! If you add 3 kind Japanese men to the equation, each rolling one 65lb. bag; 1000 thank you's and 1 patient bus driver, Oakie & Caroline make the bus alive, with no time to spare and a remainder of 1 good story.

Confession Time: There we were, Oakie, myself and three full-grown Japanese men, caravanning (defined in the dictionary as: a group of travelers, as merchants or pilgrims, journeying together for safety in passing through deserts, hostile territory, etc.)  through the Great Unknown of Tokyo's bus system and I was just giggling smiling to myself at the sheer enormity of the ridiculous kindness they were showing us.

Welcome to Japan.


  1. Best cousin! This was wonderful to read! Thank you for the laughs as I am sitting at my work desk, chugging coffee (literally) in order to prepare for a Friday the 13th in a 6th Grade world.

    Can't wait for more updates! Love you!

    1. Thank you for spending your morning reading this old thing :)
      Miss you!!

  2. Can't wait to hear all your future tales!

  3. LOVELOVELOVE!!!! You and the blog!

  4. Hahaha I couldn't stop the mental image; and it was perfect. Love ya, Caroline!


  5. Bless your heart! Sounds exhilarating! Love and prayers!

  6. And no one is surprised that Oakie could charm anyone (Asian lady ... 3 Japanese gentlemen ... hectic bus driver) plus the batting of Caroline's pretty eyes ... those people would do anything! OAKIE CHARM + CAROLINE BEAUTY = DONE DEAL! LOL Love & Prayers for your both! Snavely Family

    1. You're so right.
      I don't even know why I am continually surprised when it all works out perfectly!
      Thanks for reading :)

  7. I have a new favorite blog. And you know it's tough to beat my old favorite blog....but you did it. Congrats;)

  8. Love this! Too funny! Looking forward to more stories and pictures! Praying for you all! ~Aunt Debbie and Uncle Joe

  9. The Snavelys took the words out of my mouth. :)

  10. I have words about this but they're not coming together.
    I miss you guys.