Osaka Report: Fatrick, Hugs, Puppies
November 21, 2009
The Adventures of Fatrick: Culture Be Damned, I’m Going To Wendy’s
Sometimes you stumble across something you just can’t pass up, even if it’s total trash. I came across a Wendy’s in Osaka today and just had to eat their. Nevermind that I was in the “culinary capital of Japan,” Wendy’s don’t just pop up much on this side of the world. I entered the rare fast-food joint situated across from a blinking-light-heavy Pachinko parlor.
The Osaka Wendy’s looked just like a typical American Wendy’s – same decor, same colors, same lack of people in the actual restaurant whereas I saw lines spilling out of nearly all 15 McDonald’s I passed that day. Though, to be fair, the people eating at Wendy’s looked kinda hip and young. The big difference between Japanese Wendy’s and it’s U.S.A. counterpart came on the menu…it was drastically simplified. Just various takes on the cheeseburger and a few chicken sandwiches thrown in for good measure. No sign of the delicious spicy chicken sandwich or the “I’m giving up on life” Baconator. They did have a special chicken item slathered in mayonnaise with bits of corn though. I passed.
I kept things simple, ordering a double cheeseburger (I had a small lunch gosh) with fries and a drink. It tasted exactly like it’s American incarnation, though the fries on this side of the world are creepily longer.
Hollywood Ruins The Whole World
There was a massive poster for 2012 in a crowded area of Osaka. A fun reminder horrible American movies where every major landmark in the world goes boom also play in Japan.
The Puppy Store: Inhumane Or AWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!
Discovery of the century…usually when I wander around Osaka I choose to walk in front of the huge mall off the main road. Today, though, I went behind and discovered the cutest but probably cruelest pet store ever. This place sold only the cutest puppies and kittens, the type bred exclusively to appear on feel-good stationary. And they were all so tiny! I’ve never seen more cute animals concentrated in one place then at this store. If they didn’t explicitly ban photography, I’d probably still be there.
The downside though was that each pup or kitten was stuck in a pretty small display case. Not exactly the most humane conditions, especially for such adorable critters. One tiny box had two cats in it, how do they work that one? I wanted to buy them all and set them free in Nabari so I could be surrounded by adorableness…except each one cost roughly $600. Sad face.
Since Japan doesn’t care about Thanksgiving, the Christmas decorations are out in full force. Here’s Hello Kitty getting into the holiday spirit.
I’m the first person to spazz out about Internet memes being pushed well past their expiration date. I’m confused why people are suddenly all into “Google recommends” searches and if Slate does one more Obama Facebook Feed I don’t know what I’ll do in a fit of dork rage. That said, I couldn’t work up any snark (shudders) when I saw two people holding signs proclaiming “Free Hugs” ala a popular YouTube clip circa…what, 2004? Anyway, it was cute and not some form of viral marketing. I got a free hug and took a picture woooooo friendly people.