So, there are a few things that I did not expect I would miss so much, while living in Japan. I did not include things that I knew I would miss before coming to Japan, such as milk and pizza. This list is a collective list of 5 things that actually surprise me in terms of how much I desire them.
WARNING! There are some items that not everyone will want to read about. So, feel free to skip over those which are not appealing to you. I will not be offended, as I will not know about them.
1. Wheat Thins
I have no idea why I crave wheat thins so much, but there are no other crackers out there that sound more satisfying. Before we went to Costco, the first thing I thought, was that there would be Wheat Thins. I scoured that store, there were no Wheat Thins. Munster cheese, but no Wheat Thins. Please send me some Wheat Thins!
They have only 2 types of tampons here. Ones that are essentially normal (I say “essentially” because they just plain aren’t good absorbers), and ones that are basically just the cotton part, that comes with this special glove for you to insert it with. Why would you make something like that? And who is freaking buying them?! I bought them on accident, because I can’t read everything in Japanese yet, and only saw that I could have a box of 60 tampons for less than the box of 25. I quickly discovered the reason when I opened the box to find lots of little cotton sticks and disposable finger gloves. My first thought was, “Am I supposed to assemble them?” but once I figured out what I really was supposed to do I about vomited. Seriously, why would you sell that?! No wonder there are no tampons in Japan! That product is freaking everybody out.
3. White Chocolate Reese’s
I never really craved them to begin with, and now that they are nowhere to be found, let alone the regular ones, I suddenly have a huge hankering for them. Why you ask? Simply because they aren’t here! Just like the wheat thins. I never once craved them before, but for some reason, because they are nonexistent, I just HAVE to crave them. Well too bad because they cost like $20 online and I am not about to pay $20 for nostalgia, craving-satisfying purposes.
4. Sketch books
This was something that really just annoys me. They have art club, I have students who draw the most elaborate pictures all the time. Yet, I cannot find sketchbooks. Where are they buying these things? When I stayed in Tokyo, all the art stores included the drawing section. For some unknown reason, all the art stores I keep finding here, sell lots of fabric, beads, stickers, yarn, and everything else, but sketch books. They even have the charcoal pencils BUT no sketch books. I just you just use the pencils for drawing in the air or something.
Normally, this wouldn’t really bother me, but as a hobby of mine is book binding, I kind of need the sketchbooks. It is really difficult to find sketchbooks. WHY!!!!! We did eventually find an art store just for painting and drawing, so I do have sketchbooks now, they just don’t come with the thick board backing. Which, as a bookbinder, you use when binding books! UUUUUUUUUUUGGGHHHH!!!
5. Scrapbooking supplies
I only ever scrapbooked with my sister and that was like, once or twice a year or so. I never really got into the hobby. So why do I miss those supplies so much you ask? It has everything to do with point number 4. I book bind, and since a cover is what makes 50% of the book, I kind of need something to cover the board. I can’t just have a plain old slab of cardboard on the cover. Especially if I am giving it to someone else. Apparently, I never realized how much I relied on those supplies until they were gone. Not only does this include the paper, but this includes glue as well. There is a special glue you need to use when binding and I have always only ever found it under the scrapbooking section. I have looked for the glue here, but they don’t have anything like it. I suppose that I may have to just order from Amazon or something.
Ok, so this last one is not exactly something I miss as they have it here. It really should say that I miss affordable yarn. You get maybe one ounce of yarn for $5 while in the US you can get 5 ounces for $3.50. HUGE difference. The only strange thing, is that the specialty yarn, (i.e. fuzzy, sparkly, sock yarn) is really cheap! Sock yarn is SUPER expensive in the US. About $6-$9 a skein, and you need 2 of them to make a pair. (Why they sell it like that, I will never know) In Japan, it is $2-$6 a skein. Why don’t we have this price in the US? I think I shall be making more socks and fluffy scarves in the near future.
You might be asking, Jeny, isn’t it cheaper to just buy scarves and socks from the store? Such as the dollar store? And I would answer you, Sure, sure. But how often can you hold up your foot to someone and scream out “I made this!”?
I hope you enjoyed my post on the 5 things I miss in Japan. I am sure that if I asked my husband to make a similar list, which he would be including things like food and various other dairy products that he could have if it were in Japan.