Weekly Wrap-Up: More Sad Meanderings, UNIQLO And…
April 16, 2010
– Apologies for dwelling on such melancholy material, but the “highlight” of this week definitely ended up being the surprise school transfer. I won’t deny that I probably reacted to the news more emotionally than most would – geez, my Japanese co-workers go through this every year – but the out-of-nowhere-ness of it all really walloped. Anyway, because I’m always way too self-conscious about this sort of thing, a wrap-up: I visited my old school one last time, for my purposes to clear out my desk. I managed to say goodbye to two teachers, but managed to miss a lot more. Thankfully, a trip to Stationary Salsa and an afternoon spent crafting goodbye “thank you” notes should fix that. I also visited my new school, and everyone seems very nice. So hey, positives. See, no dwelling on emotions this time around!
– I don’t know when this happened, but according to Esquire – “come for the three great features, stay for the tedious fashion and outdated definitions of masculinity” – the Japanese equivalent of the GAP is starting to take off in America. UNIQLO sells nice but affordable clothes for the masses, and I guess a few stores have managed to find themselves open in America. Despite it’s ubiquity across all Japan and emergence in North America, I’ve never actually spent time inside a UNIQLO. I finally had an excuse to go to one this week, though, after a pair of my work pants managed to fall apart on my.
The trip report reveals nothing stunning…a sale on polo shirts, lots of varieties of khaki pants, goofy-lookin socks. Basically the GAP down to the all-caps name. But one thing led me conclude UNIQLO was miles cooler than GAP and to totally geek out. Next to the UNIQLO-brand t-shirts branded with various Disney characters sat a display advertising shirts that are part of the chain’s promotional series with Domino Records. If you can recognize any of the following names – Junior Boys, Four Tet, Max Tundra – you’ll understand why seeing this made stupid excited. I came dangerously close to buying a shirt with this Clinic album cover on it, but they only had one and I doubt it would have fit. Regardless, the fact people in Japan are wearing shirts that say “Wild Beasts” on them and have no idea what that refers to makes me strangely happy.
– This happened last week, but oh well it stuck with me – while moving textbooks around at an elementary school, a very young student cleaning the room looked up, said “Michael Jackson” and started doing the moonwalk. I don’t know whether he just wanted to dance or the presence of a Westerner caused him to imitate the King Of Pop, but it was an amazing moment all the same.
– In other news…we got the plate. Rejoice America.
Can’t wait to eat off that bear’s face.
(Japanese Fun Fact #57 – All the wireless networks my iPhone picks up on the street are called “warpstar.” Sly Kirby reference? I don’t think it’s a stretch…a few school signs in Nabari actually have Kirby on them puffed up and flying about.)