December 15, 2004

Merry Xmas

It's been awhile since I put up some pictures, so here are a few random pics I found on the camera today.

Xmas: It's very nice that Japan is so excited about the Christmas holiday. However, the commercialism of it all in this country makes America look extremely tame. One of the things I've noticed is that they don't actually celebrate "Christmas" here, they celebrate "Xmas." This picture was taken in Kyoto station about three weeks ago. It really is a very beautiful tree, and it changed colors in time with Christmas music (including music from Nightmare Before Christmas), but I don't think they realize "Xmas" isn't the actual name of the holiday. Maybe they're just trying to save money, maybe they really do only care about the commercialism, or maybe they just don't care at all... either way, at least they try.

Masks: I met Rob the other day for some shopping around Osaka. The first store we went to had very odd looking winter "masks." The conversation we had went something like this:

Jed- "Look at those masks, who would ever buy one?"
Rob- "I will buy one if you buy one."
Jed- "wha... t"
Rob- "I'm serious, if you promise to wear this mask right now, I will buy one. I'll even buy one for you"
Jed- ...nervous laughter..."
Rob- "That means yes."

The next thing I knew Rob was buying them. We then found ourselves outside, in one of the busiest parts of Shinsaibashi, wearing the masks you see in this picture. Pretty much everyone gave us the same uncomfortable-confused look, and then two girls came up to us and just stared. They didn't say a word, just stared at us. Eventually they started talking (this was at least 10 minutes later) and we found out they wanted to wear them. Rob politely said no, and we took off down the road to take the masks off. In the end, I think we stood there for a good 20 minutes with them on. It was clearly an odd experience, and I have absolutely no explanation as to why we did it. But, I will certainly never forget it.

Menu: I saved the best, or worst, for last. The picture speaks for itself, so take a look at some of the menu items. More specifically, look at the sixth item down. Luckily for us it was written in English, usually we just look at pictures and guess.

We'll be back in the States for Christmas, hope to see everyone then!

Posted by jed at December 15, 2004 10:57 PM

I think the Xmas phenomenon is due to the fact that leaving out all those letters saves money as well as avoiding the dreaded R.

yes, you're sitting right next to me but I thought it would be wonderful to share this with everyone.

Posted by: Karen at December 18, 2004 10:15 PM

Maybe they only know our holidays from Futurama episodes?

Posted by: alexs at December 21, 2004 03:09 AM

haha, that's the first thing i thought of, too.

Posted by: jed at December 21, 2004 08:11 AM
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