For our last big trip away from my daughter’s house on the Marine base in Iwakuni, we went to the Fuji Grand, a seven-story mall downtown.
I don’t know why the Japanese want to be like Americans, but it was amusing to hear the popular music from two or three summers ago playing through the shops.
Some of the misspellings were humorous, too, but I loved them for trying. Their English was much better than my Japanese, though I can say “hello,” “goodbye,” “thank you,” “yes,” and “toilet.” Everyone knows what “toilet” means, fortunately.
The girls bought a few items of clothing, and I bought some gifts. Later, I’ll show you what I purchased for Gayle. It’s a hoot.
The top floor of the mall was all restaurants, though I wouldn’t call McDonald’s a restaurant. Mel posed by their sign as a joke, but we wanted authentic Japanese food.
I ordered tempura (shrimp and vegetables), but I’m not sure what Mandy and Melly ordered. Whatever it was, it came without a spoon or a fork. Melly was able to get us baby forks (really!), but they had to drink the soup from the bowl. I was glad I ordered mine over rice.
No one locks their bikes up in Japan. I suppose they don’t steal from each other. However, it was interesting that EVERYONE locks their bikes up on the base. I thought that was sad a sad commentary on our culture. I’ve also noticed that everything is compact here, and everything is recycled. A patch of yard is used for a garden. Nothing is wasted. It seems to me that buildings and cars are designed to be practical, not comfortable or necessarily beautiful.
I also took a few (hundred) pictures of my new granddaughter, Charlie, who is my first and only grandchild. I’ll share some of those with you in my next post. My daughter Melly and I will fly back to the States tomorrow night, losing eleven hours in the process of the twenty-eight hour journey. I’m so glad that I came, though traveling isn’t easy for me. These are some of the best memories of my life. One of these days, I’ll sit in my rocking chair, look at my pictures, and remember my big adventure.