Gaijin Smash

The Devil IS Prada II

Posted in Blog by gaijinsmashnet on August 22, 2008

If Hollywood can abuse the shit out of sequels*, then so can I.
*Did you know that they might make a Lethal Weapon 5. …Lethal Weapon 5. Seriously? C’mon now. What’s the tagline going to be? “Now We’re REALLY Too Old For This Shit”? “Senior Citizens Who Pack A Punch”? “Because Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker Let Us All Down With Rush Hour 3”? What’s going on here?
So, I went shopping last weekend. And amazingly, I am still alive.
I had a secret weapon this time around: my iPod. I put my headphones over the left ear and kept the right ear uncovered. This was perfect for drowning out the psudo-trendy beats and the choruses of “kawaii!” and “irrashaimase!”*, but still allowed me to converse with my wife. And listening to music also helped the time to fly by. The system isn’t perfect of course…
Wife: Hey, this is a pretty nice bag, what do you think?
Me: Oh I…keep hearin’ footsteps baby…in the dark…in the daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaark! Woo. …Oh, what? Sorry, were you saying something?
But it was an invaluable tool in keeping me in the game.
*That’s another thing I forgot to mention last time…quick cultural lesson, often times when you enter a store, the Japanese clerks will say “irrashaimase!” Kind of hard to translate, but roughly it means “Welcome!” That’s all well and good, but the problem is that in these fashion stores, it can be hard to keep track of who is weaving in and out of the store. To solve this problem, the clerks will just shout out “irrashaimase!” at 3-second intervals. This becomes particularly annoying when you’re standing right next to them and they just keep saying it! Goddamnit, you already welcomed me to this hell stop, stop doing it!

I also was able to properly give an opinion this time. With the music keeping my annoyance levels at bay, I could at least say “yes”, “no”, or “do you really want to look like Mrs. Potato Head?” I was also motivated by the chance to get my wife out of the potato sacks. She was looking for a dress to wear to a wedding reception later this month (why are there so many damn weddings this time of year? …Wait, my wedding is next month, shit!) and I pointed out a nice, form-fitting green dress. She gave her usual objections (“but, its not a stunning burlap sack!”) but I held fast and told her to at least try it on. She did, and she looked great. Even the store clerk came over to compliment her (which I’m sure she would have done for the burlap sacks…but hey, I’ll take the reinforcement wherever I can get it!). She bought the dress, thus expanding her non-farm-hand wear to…I dunno, maybe 3 or 4 items.
We found a couple of more outfits that looked good on her that we could both agree on. Having just bought the dress, she didn’t want to fork out more cash she didn’t particularly have. So that’s where I stepped up. My wife is actually the polar opposite of a golddigger, so when I offered to buy them for her, she was solidly against it. However I told her that she simply had no say in the matter – I was going to buy them, so the least she could do was wear them. Once she accepted this, she was very, very happy.
With a wedding coming up that I already can’t pay for, can I afford to be buying my wife clothes? No. It wasn’t bank-breaking, but it was a couple hundred bucks. It made her so happy though, and if I can’t make her happy, then what’s the point of getting married? Yes, there are other non-monetary ways to keep the spouse happy, but that was the there and then.
As I was paying for the clothes, the store clerk who had been helping out noticed that I was buying for my wife.
Clerk (To the wife): So, is this for some kind of occasion?
Her: This’ll be my birthday gift.
Me: …Her birthday’s not until April. This is a “just because” gift.
Clerk (full of envy): How nice! I’m so envious!
Me: She always says that I complain about her fashion without actually doing something about it…so here I am.
Clerk: That’s really nice of you.
Her: Really?
Clerk: Yeah! Most guys just wait outside and look bored the whole time.
Her (looking surprised/defeated): Really?!
Clerk: Its not that often we get guys in here willing to help out like this. You’re a lucky woman.
Her: Well…yeah, I guess so.
Clerk (gives me a good look-over): I’m really envious.
The wife rewards my endurance by letting me go to an electronics store, and I end up buying Soul Calibur IV, which she lets me play for the rest of the day without complaint. I loved SC1 to death, but I fear that the game is becoming less serious with each installment. I mean, you’ve got this game set in medieval times featuring souls, swords…and Darth Vader. Yes, if you’ve ever wondered what the outcome would be if Darth Vader ever went up against a samurai or a knight, now you can find out.
So that evening my wife marveled at clothes that actually showed off her nice figure, and I spent my time force-choking little European women wearing short skirts and carrying holy shields and swords. Everybody wins.
I noticed a few people saying this in the comments, and I’d been thinking it myself – there should be a store dedicated to saving male shoppers. It would be an ordinary trendy department store or whatever – but right in the middle of it there’d be a sports bar. There’d be HDTV’s that played sports and had Playstations hooked up to them, along with pool tables, darts, etc. Guys could get those little black disks that they hand out at restaurants; when his girlfriend/wife/whatever female who dragged him finally made it to checkout, the black disk could light up and vibrate letting the guy know it was time to go. The guy could get one free beer for every hour his partner was in the store but hadn’t yet bought anything. Give me a department store like that…and I would happily go shopping. Every fuckin’ week.
Wife: Hey honey, what do you think of these pumps?
Me: …Bwaahaha stupid Lizardman, suffer the wrath of the Dark Side! …I’m sorry, what were you saying?
I’m only amazed that no one has thought of this sooner.
Finally, many of you expressed a small degree of disbelief when I said “I try to humor her by lying and saying it’s cute when really, I’m thinking about how this $400 dress would be great for keeping my gym shoes inside.” While I have been known to exaggerate to get my point across sometimes, I assure you that this was not one of my patented Black Man Lies™.
We stopped in a random store on the ground level of OPA, a fairly well-known and trendy department store. Its just a regular department store, we’re not talking Bloomberg level or anything. I found this lovely gem of a sweater…cardigan…rucksack…thingy.

…Yeah. I suppose its not that bad…if we were shopping for Bea Arthur. But hey, let’s take a closer look at the price tag, shall we?

Given that the current conversion rate is to the US dollar is about 109, JPY 47,250 = $433.
Japan’s expensive, folks. I assure you, I didn’t go hunting in all the ritzy places to find something that just happened to be $400 so I could take a picture of it. She went into some random, everyday store, I was standing near the rack, took a look at this sweater, and then looked at the price tag. Holy Jiminy Christmas, $433…FOR THAT?! Why, for 400 bones instead of this dingy looking carpet…um, I mean, trendy Japanese cardigan, I could buy…
— A new Playstation 3 (I’ve always wanted to play games in the bathroom)
— About 7 new video games
— *2* round trip tickets (not 1…2) to Korea
— 1 round trip ticket to Thailand
— 12.4 Thai whores
— That’s 10% of my half of the wedding costs
— That’s 20% of the new HDTV I’ve been wanting
So for those in Japan, or anyone who may be coming at some point in time, look around and find a trendy girl, regardless of whether she’s wearing potato sacks or mermaid-line skirts and knee-high boots. Keeping in mind that this ONE article of clothing, not even remotely close to anything high-class, costs $433, take a good long look at the fashion queen and try to think about how much money you’re looking at. Then come join me as I cry over my poverty.


74 Responses

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  1. FriendArtiste said, on August 22, 2008 at 1:51 am

    Actually, in my hometown the is an Urban Outfitter clothing store that has a huge couch and an xbox right in the center. My friends and I would play Halo while our girlfriends bought overpriced clothing

  2. jeremy said, on August 22, 2008 at 2:56 am

    One has to wonder what .4 of a thai whore is…

  3. CF said, on August 22, 2008 at 3:47 am

    > One has to wonder what .4 of a thai whore is…
    A six-year-old…. >:)

  4. Chinamerican said, on August 22, 2008 at 3:52 am

    Honey, I feel you. I hate the stupid potato sack + leggings trend. I generally hate how all these “fashions” infantalise women and obscure their shapes and for all the women that follow them, SHAME ON YOU for being lazy and not putting any effort into flattering your body!
    However, as a stylista (not a fashionista), there is something to be said about expensive clothes/accessories. I can justify certain extravagent expenditures, such as a nice Hermes scarf that will, with good care, last a lifetime and can very well be handed down. Good BASIC shoes (think plain black leather heels) should cost a pretty penny b/c they should be of the best material and more importantly, the best engineering. Things that will survive for years are not merely purchases, they are investments. Ugly trendy things that will be “out” the next season are not the OT that one needs to put in to pay for them.

  5. Anonymous said, on August 22, 2008 at 4:11 am

    oh god, i LOVE the idea about the sports bar and the black vibrating disks for when your girlfriend is done shopping. i think i might steal your idea and try to get something like that going over here. i’d make a fortune.
    >> One has to wonder what .4 of a thai whore is…
    >A six-year-old…. >:)
    no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

  6. Anonymous said, on August 22, 2008 at 4:11 am

    oh god, i LOVE the idea about the sports bar and the black vibrating disks for when your girlfriend is done shopping. i think i might steal your idea and try to get something like that going over here. i’d make a fortune.
    >> One has to wonder what .4 of a thai whore is…
    >A six-year-old…. >:)
    no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

  7. Anonymous said, on August 22, 2008 at 4:24 am


  8. Anonymous said, on August 22, 2008 at 4:24 am


  9. thirty-four said, on August 22, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Oh man, don’t forget about the designer purses! It’s HARD to find a Japanese woman without at LEAST one Louis Vuitton item. Even schoolgirls have the damn things. Hell, it’s not hard to find GUYS with them sometimes… wallet, man-purse, whatever. And at hundreds for the wallets & who knows HOW much for the purses & luggage (yes, there are people who have entire sets of designer luggage that probably cost several months’ worth of my salary -_-;)… you get the idea.
    I once saw an Hermes purse in the window for, I shit you not, about ï¿¥900,000. That’s well over $8,000. Yes. Eight THOUSAND DOLLARS for a PURSE. And the scary thing is that “normal” (i.e. not ridiculously disgustingly rich) people actually buy these things.

  10. Cait said, on August 22, 2008 at 5:11 am

    Eew @ CF! o_O
    @ Az
    This was, as always, one hilarious article! Thank you so much!

  11. Jon Helgi said, on August 22, 2008 at 6:25 am

    That’s way to expensive to wear. 🙂
    Any way its august, there should be a bun in the oven by now unless you dodged the bullet this time. 😉

  12. Shinkada said, on August 22, 2008 at 7:30 am

    .6 of a Thai whore: Just the penis.

  13. Spring Hare said, on August 22, 2008 at 8:36 am

    Concerning Soul Calibur IV, i think Vaders presence in the game is the least of its worries. I mean, i like the game but there few bad things about it on the whole. Like many characters’ move lists missing quite a few tricks from before, the “improved character creation” being far more limited than the one in SC3 concerning the actual amouth of different gear etc and of course the little fact i die a small death every time i hear the voiceover of Japanese Vader…
    Out of curiosity, since your grace period is getting shorter and shorter, how much are you still short of your wedding fund?

  14. Ben said, on August 22, 2008 at 8:41 am

    The “Irrashaimase” gets so old so fast. The first week I was here, I thought it was cute that everybody notices me. By the second, I would hope to slink around so that I wouldn’t have to deal with the constant bombardment. The worst are the コンビに workers, who, despite clearly hating their jobs, try to say it as loud as they possible can when you walk in.

  15. ItAintEazy said, on August 22, 2008 at 10:00 am

    For 400 goddamn dollars, that coat better be made out of silk woven from platinum.
    But nope, it’s 100% cotton. Unless cotton is as rare in Japan as C-cups, then it doesn’t make sense.

  16. Duffy said, on August 22, 2008 at 10:10 am

    Some of the Nordstrom’s here have a sports bar, yes a sports bar, in the middle of the women’s section. If you’ve seen the prices there you’ll understand why alcohol is needed.

  17. david said, on August 22, 2008 at 10:49 am

    There’s a SEARS sort of like what you’re talking about at the local mall that I live nearby. It’s like all clothing and fashion to one side, and then you kind of…dodge to one side where you have a ton of HDTVs and electronics…no beer, though :[

  18. htodd said, on August 22, 2008 at 11:13 am

    You need to avoid the basement of any Hankyu department store. The part where the sell the omiyage. The place where they’re all trained to say, “Irashaimase,” in the highest most nasal voice they can, or they get fired. Try any of them. Last year I was in two, in Umeda and Kawanishi and I forgot just how horrible it was. Now I remember.

  19. Gino said, on August 22, 2008 at 11:18 am

    So I’m curious about one thing Az. If burlap sacks like that are so trendy and fassionable over in Japan, why haven’t you made your own move in the market and create your own clothing line? Hell, I’m sure if you bring back the 70’s style it will be a big hit, afro and all. Sure, you have to relive the “soul brotha” era, but I think you could get away with it.

  20. Sam said, on August 22, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Oh…my…god. The “irrashaimase” shit drove me INSANE when I was in Japan last year. That and walking past cell phone stores, since they’d always be outside screaming into megaphones….
    About the price thing, 2 years ago, I was involved in this program where a bunch of students came to study English intensively in Portland, ME for a couple of months. When we took them out to Freeport, all the girls got really excited. Not only was there a “Coach” store, but the $200 purses and wallets were only a 1/3 of their cost in Japan.
    So naturally, all the girls proceeded to spend like $1000 there.

  21. Anonymous said, on August 22, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Man, I used to dig your writing, but these days you just sound so pussy whipped. Two whole posts about shopping with your girl? Come on man.

  22. Anonymous said, on August 22, 2008 at 11:25 am

    Man, I used to dig your writing, but these days you just sound so pussy whipped. Two whole posts about shopping with your girl? Come on man.

  23. code monkey said, on August 22, 2008 at 11:38 am

    100% cotton…what, they imported the cotton from India…from the last century!
    oh shit…I think I remember one Japanese counterpart engineer wearing one of those sweaters.

  24. Phelps said, on August 22, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    The western wear stores here in Texas have figured that out. While the women are looking at rainbow colored $900 boot after $900 boot, the guys can head over the to blocking counter, have a Bud and shoot the shit with everyone else waiting on women trying on boots or jeans or whatever.

  25. Omar G said, on August 22, 2008 at 12:49 pm

    I find these stories to be humorous. Honestly, it has kept my day in class entertaining and also when I am taking a shit. I used my iphone to navigate your website and usually ended up with a 15 min wait time… People can be grouchy… haha
    I’ve asked my friends about the kancho…
    Me: “Marikochan, is it true that your fellow country men will attack me with their index fingers?”
    Mariko: “What are you talking about?”
    Me: “You know… Kancho?? Do they really like doing that?”
    Mariko:”Wtf are you talking about? No we don’t do that shit.”
    Me:”Fucken gaijin lied.”
    3 minutes later. Poke.

  26. france dave said, on August 22, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    1) Kidnapp Kogal in a back alley of Shinjuku
    2) strip
    2b) raep (optional)
    3) sell clothes
    4) ???
    5) PROFIT
    also, i saw commercial of SCIV with vader and yoda and i just pictured a fight :
    —Vader VS Seung Mi Na—
    Round 1
    FIGHT !
    * Vader slice seung mi na in half with his saber *
    you win PERFECT !

  27. Mayhem said, on August 22, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    I’ve been told stories of shopping in Japan, but none so detailed, especially about clothes. As usual, this made me laugh a lot, a way to brighten a dull Friday evening as I actually have to do some work “work” and stuff for a system migration…
    As America is the purveyor of the “assault new customers as soon as they walk in the door” style shopping, I have to ask Az… which is more annoying? The “Irrashaimase” of the Japanese staff or the persistent inquiries of American shop assistants to whether you require… assistance.
    If I need assistance, I’d call on Gromit for it…

  28. Liz said, on August 22, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    >> One has to wonder what .4 of a thai whore is…
    >A six-year-old…. >:)
    A 60 year old. A 6 year old would probably cost more. (Now that I posted that, can I please have my brain back from the gutter??)
    Az, that shopping trip of yours was full of win. That cashier couldn’t have said anything more perfect if you’d handed her a script.

  29. Liz said, on August 22, 2008 at 5:19 pm

    “There’s a SEARS sort of like what you’re talking about at the local mall that I live nearby. It’s like all clothing and fashion to one side, and then you kind of…dodge to one side where you have a ton of HDTVs and electronics…no beer, though :[”
    Actually, that’s Sears adding in clothing and fashion stuff to entertain girlfriends/wives while the guys do electronics and hardware shopping. Remember those commercials? “Come see the softer side of Sears”?

  30. HiEv said, on August 22, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    You took the suggestion I gave you last time of wearing an iPod, said it worked great, and not one word of thanks to me? Harrumph! ;-P
    Anyways, congrats on getting the shopping thing to work properly. Now the trick is to not forget what you (and she) have learned!

  31. anonymouss said, on August 22, 2008 at 6:18 pm,,1004925,00.html (the Germans already thought of it)

  32. Mel said, on August 22, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Is the 0.4 not born yet??
    Or do you just get to look at the 0.4 whore but not actually do anything to/with her??
    Fashion’s expensive.
    That’s why I’m thankful for Forever 21.

  33. Hilary said, on August 22, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    I KNOW! Even when I see a shirt that is 60 dollars.. I cry. “what the fuck 60 dollars…” I’m really
    cheap when it comes to clothes. I find all sales. Unless someone else is buying me, but usually I buy them myself.
    400 dollars is just too much for a simple jacket.

  34. Anonymous of /jp/ said, on August 22, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Your blog is the best, Az.

  35. Raye said, on August 23, 2008 at 9:11 am

    Hey Az!
    LOL! Loved your post! Soul Caliber 4, I’m envious. Hopefully I can get that game soon, but yeah, I was also confused about the (seemed to be totally random) Darth Vader reference in SC IV. I also own the original Soul Caliber on Sega DreamCast and also wonder if the franchise is taking itself seriously anymore.
    Also, $430 for a freakin’ sweater or what ever the hell that thing was!?! I still cringe when I look and see a sweater/overcoat being sold here for $50.
    Anyways, that men’s oasis type store is a good idea. I’m sure people have done similar stuff before but its probably rare. Anyways, good luck with gettin’ stuff ready for the wedding.

  36. Anonymous said, on August 23, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    433 dollars? That’s 1/4 what I paid for my car.

  37. Anonymous said, on August 23, 2008 at 7:19 pm

    433 dollars? That’s 1/4 what I paid for my car.

  38. Patrick said, on August 23, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    It looks like you could knit those to make money. Have you considered that? It would cover the wedding expenses really fast if you could sell 10-12 of those.

  39. Yitzy said, on August 24, 2008 at 12:23 am

    Sometime ago, I was in some trendyish store that sold woman’s clothing with a female friend of mine (god knows why), and at the back of the store they had a leather chair and a newspaper.
    The newspaper was open to a page about the (then) new Rambo movie.
    I’ll give whoever did that a round of applause.

  40. Sakari said, on August 24, 2008 at 7:12 am

    Japan isn’t that expensive. I’ve found even fairly trendy places have ok prices at times.
    And if you want cheap, just got to Takeshita Dori or something.

  41. Pat said, on August 24, 2008 at 11:10 am

    I always wonder if some women buy clothes less by how they look than how expensive they are.
    Exhibit A:
    If 8 idiots bought that over the course of the day apple kept it on the istore, I imagine you could probably sell a real potato sack to some women if it were expensive enough.

  42. Kel said, on August 24, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    When I look at the trendy girls walking around Shinsaibashi the only thing crossing my mind is how well she’d fare in the sack. If it ever gets to the point where I start worrying about maintenance costs, I’ll look you up so we can cry together.

  43. dotdotdot said, on August 24, 2008 at 3:13 pm

    you guys are too against the soul calibur cast.i mean considering they have magical weapons that cuold kill thousands of men in one fatal swipe.iam pretty sure in an actual battle vader or yoda would be donefor vs seigfried or nightmare

  44. aj said, on August 24, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    i’m a girl myself and get astounded with the prices of clothes that are made out of the same effin’ material as the “cheap” clothes. (difference is a label attached to it, take it off and it becomes “cheap”)
    one time i walked around frisco (i’m from the bay) saw this pair of pants that looked raggedy (holes, torn…etc..) it costs $700. WTF go to goodwill, buy jeans and put the damn holes yourself for $6.00. (the goodwill in SF is better than anywhere else – designer stuff for MUCH cheaper). i have a kid myself so $700 can go a LONG way (not to mention paying bills off which includes a student loan). that pair of pants by far took the cake (and it wasn’t for celebs either in my opinion!).
    omg, i would 2nd that bar-thingy you mentioned. my hubby takes forever in the store, so to play video games while he shops? AWESOME idea ^_^

  45. Anonymous said, on August 24, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    I guess you wish you had stayed on JET eh Az?
    Im on JET now, but somehow i still feel poor out here.

  46. Anonymous said, on August 24, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    I guess you wish you had stayed on JET eh Az?
    Im on JET now, but somehow i still feel poor out here.

  47. ted said, on August 24, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    I guess you wish you had stayed on JET eh Az?
    Im on JET now, but somehow i still feel poor out here.

  48. PCash said, on August 24, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Maybe a .4 hooker is an amputee with no arms or legs?

  49. Tarick said, on August 24, 2008 at 9:35 pm

    I’m an intern in Japan. This means I too am low on cash. All the time. And, like everything else in Japan, food is expensive. And as an extra fuck-you to my gaijin stomach, it’s small too.
    Now instead of thinking of value in terms of electronics as I usually do, I think in terms of survival. So when I see sweaters that cost hundreds of dollars, I think “How long could that feed me?” or “How far could that get me on the JR?”
    Ah, commiseration.
    On an unrelated note, what the F is up with Pachinko? I can’t get off a train or leave a department store without a damn Pachinko parlor in front of me every time. Hell, I see people lined up to go inside on my way to work every morning. Do these people have jobs/lives? What is this?

  50. Ben said, on August 25, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Pachinko is the way Japanese Salarymen redeposit their earnings into the economy.

  51. Simon4rings said, on August 25, 2008 at 4:31 am

    There are millions of immaculately dressed women in Japan who would put on their Chanel dress suits and make up when going to the neighbourhood combini and you actually managed to find one who likes burlap dresses? bwahahaha
    By the way, how would you know what’s the going rate for a Thai hooker?

  52. ArcherHawk said, on August 25, 2008 at 7:56 am

    $433… that could get me a pretty good huntin’ compound bow or even an ok read-to-shoot package. Or that $433 could just about cover my semester registration fees for 9 credits… or a decent longbow or recurve. Why the hell spend so much money on something that useless? I don’t even spend that much on my huntin’ clothes and snake boots!
    Now if there was a good shooting range or arcade or grown-up obstacle course in those boring department stores for when I get dragged kicking and screaming by well-meaning (albeit out-of-touch) relatives.
    Oh and I love your comments on the Lethal Weapon sequels. How about a tagline like “When you cross Whoop-ass with viagra” or “The fat lady hasn’t sung yet”… Ok I think I’ve had way too much coffee and not enough sleep now.

  53. Mac said, on August 25, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Apparently you’ve never been to Thailand. 400 dollars could get you 12 whores, the bar they work in, all the alcohol you could pure down your throat and a Dr to give a shot of penicillian the next morning. Don’t believe I’ve got pics to prove it.

  54. gharper said, on August 25, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    Hey Az…
    Maybe I wasn’t around for long enough, but the irrashaimase never got annoying… maybe old enough that I started ignoring it, but that was about it.
    As far as the bar / shopping idea – you’re a goddamn genius! Once I started thinking about the various shopping centers around here (Seattle), it started to click… there’s a hell of a lot of bars next to the デパート. She winds up shopping, I wind up drinking – everyone’s happy!

  55. Hartz said, on August 26, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    That magnificent cardigan looks like the type of thing that ends up in fukubukuros at New Year sales.

  56. John Joubert said, on August 26, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Damn Az,
    Your Ideas and descriptions are funny as ever.

  57. Matt said, on August 26, 2008 at 7:30 pm
    i have yet to see something beat the ridiculousness of this
    …and its for GUYS too! O_O

  58. zurui said, on August 27, 2008 at 1:16 am

    Great story. I enjoy reading your blog.
    I posted this on Black Tokyo with a track back to Gaijin Smash.

  59. David said, on August 27, 2008 at 5:07 am

    My frikkin wedding costume costed less than 400 dollars.

  60. well said, on August 27, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    Congrats, you made it! It sounds like having clothes shipped from the US might actually be cheaper, but who knows if they make them in Japanese sizes (small enough)…
    To add to the sightings of guy-friendly accomodations, there’s an outdoor mall near me that has some seating and a big-screen TV turned to a sports channel in center area near the information booth.

  61. Aaron said, on August 27, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    Choking my Cassandra/Sophitia, huh? If ever our paths cross, you will get an old school whoopin’ with either one of them that will make you give them the respect they deserve!
    …that said, SC was the best. They’ve been slowing down the characters ever since. Sophitia was at her best and fastest at that time.
    *sigh* Them were the days, eh…

  62. Newtype said, on August 28, 2008 at 5:53 am

    “I loved SC1 to death, but I fear that the game is becoming less serious with each installment. I mean, you’ve got this game set in medieval times featuring souls, swords…and Darth Vader. Yes, if you’ve ever wondered what the outcome would be if Darth Vader ever went up against a samurai or a knight, now you can find out.”
    Just in case you’re wondering what Darth Vader will do if he wins the tournament.
    As for the shopping thing, most of you took the words off my mouth.

  63. Scott Chaussee said, on August 29, 2008 at 7:01 am

    I was literally just given your website 5 minutes ago. I love it and love your take on the country (I’m teaching in Miyagi, been here for 4 months). I had to comment because I recognized lyrics from The Isley Brothers. Cheers brother!

  64. katzgoboom said, on August 29, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    I can understand buying nice, simple things that will go with anything and last forever…like many of the other commenters said, like a pair of nice, black heels or a nice, basic black (or other basic color) suit or something…I mean, you’d probably fork over some cash for a pair of nice male dress shoes and a nice suit, because it can come in handy on many, many occasions.
    But I must express, with all of my seventeen years of experience and righteous anger built up over the years, that buying a stupid, ugly cardigan (that, honestly, looks like a throw rug, or something some old woman would wear, and will go out of style in 1.3 days) kind of pisses me off, to say the least. Not only is it a waste of those sweatshop worker’s precious hours and health (and I can get in a huge hippie rant about sweatshop workers, but that’s for another time), it just epitomizes the ignorance and foolishness of the women so obsessed with fitting in and being fashionable, that they will sacrifice their own mind and own style.
    I’m totally a style-ista. I love feeling stylish, and I know when I look good, which makes me feel good…but how can catering to some money-grubbing company that literally DECIDES what’s fashionable and what’s not make anyone feel good or feel stylish, especially when most people think that person looks ridiculous? Have you ever SEEN “The Devil Wears Prada”? Apparently that’s how fashion magazines really are…they literally get together, in a meeting, and decide what’s fashionable and what people should like. Shouldn’t they WANT to get a favorable eye from an attractive male contender when walking down the street? I know it makes me feel pretty awesome.
    Okay, I could rant forever, but I should end it by commending you on your editorials. I’ve been reading them for a few years now, and I have to say, I like your take on Japanese culture. You seem to have that “I think it’s weird, but I still appreciate some aspects of it but I still think it’s weird and ridiculous” idea to it, which is what I’ve kind of grown since actually learning it and growing past my “ZOMGJAPANZZZZZIZAWESUMZ” phase in my Japanophilia. I’m a fourth-year in high-school Japanese and plan on taking it in college. I love the language. It’s fun to learn, and to confuse others with it when you write it all over the place, plus my sensei is AMAZING.
    I still mainly want to visit it, though, because they fawn over pale-skinned Gaijin, so it’ll be an ego-boost like no other.
    Keep writing, and I’m eager to hear more about your upcoming wedding and life and whatnot.

  65. bing said, on August 29, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    ya, I have been to japan twice now. While my friends are all about name brand stuff; I care just a bit. My close friend bought 3 pairs of jeans for a low low total of 95,000 yen. I mean don’t get me wrong I will spend 100 or 150 on a REALLY nice pair of shoes. Well good luck AZ I have been reading the site since day one with the white background and the simple links! This layout is great also!

  66. ben said, on August 30, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Soul caliber 2>soul caliber 4

  67. Stan said, on September 2, 2008 at 9:22 am

    Just got back from Japan and was astounded by the high nasal welcome from clerks at the stores. It was horrible. The good thing? My girlfriend was right. The customer service – whether it’s due to higher wages and/or peer pressure/culture – is not to be beat. “Now you see why customer service in the States makes me so angry?” is what my girlfriend said. Yup. I understand it now. By the way, I ran into a woman who teaches English at a University in/near Morioka and told her about your page. It was what I shared with her and she told me about the book, The Japanese Have A Word For It. It was a fair and fun exchange.

  68. LaLa said, on September 7, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Jeez I HATE the ‘Irashaimaseeeeee’! The shopclerks do nothing but piss me off with that nasally sounding drone every 3 seconds on cue – why do they say it so weirdly too? It’s like they use the most whiniest nasally voice they can muster just to piss you off, and half the time they’re not even looking at you when they say it.

  69. Lindsay said, on September 10, 2008 at 4:16 am

    I thought you were exaggerating about shopkeepers called out “Irrasshaimase!” every three seconds, but two weeks into my study abroad I can confirm that you are right.

  70. Marisa said, on September 14, 2008 at 1:14 am

    Well, when I was in Japan I got sick of IRASSHAIMASEEE as well. Although where I wandered they didn’t should it every 3 seconds so much as they shouted it every time I fscking twitched. >_O

  71. Jonadab the Unsightly One said, on September 16, 2008 at 7:08 pm

    > Fashion’s expensive.
    I’m oblivious to fashion. It’s cheaper that way. I generally just go to the stores that sell seconds and imperfect loads and whatnot, and head straight for the clearance rack, where they put the stuff that’s been marked down three times because it wasn’t selling. If they don’t have my size there, then I look through the racks of things that have been marked down only once or twice, and pick out the cheaper ones.
    My whole wardrobe isn’t worth $400 including the suit jacket, belts ties, winter coats, everything.
    Well, everything except shoes. I do have to pay full price and more for shoes, unfortunately, because I have a unusually shaped feet. Ordinary shoe manufacturers don’t make anything I can get into at all; if I want anything that comes even remotely close to comfort, I have to buy SAS, at well over a hundred bucks a pair, yo.

  72. kk said, on October 20, 2008 at 3:11 am

    It’s funny because it’s true 😦
    I’m a chick and I’d rather shoot myself than go shopping here in Osaka.

  73. Ariah said, on January 31, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    1) I KNOW! WTH is Vader doing in SC? It’s been like, 3 years since I played and then I see an ad and there’s F’ing VADER next to some cute little cartoony person and I was just like… no.
    2) I REALLY want to go shopping now. Mmm, clothes! *bounces*

  74. Brittany said, on May 23, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    You have a good wife and she is definitely a keeper! Besides I heard alot of girls over there tend to be gold diggers and like men with money! Your wife is the opposite that is soo sweet!

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