Bulletin Board, Azabu National Supermarket, Hiroo

Sep 10 2002

This is the fun internationals-message-board at the international supermarket. I heard from a certain Ayako that there’s an international supermarket in Hiroo. There aren’t a lot of food items that I absolutely must have; in fact I’m pretty proud of how well I’m doing without most of my typical USAmerican luxuries, but Cheez-It is another story. I’m sure I could exist without it (in contrast to, say, Ovaltine), but I don’t want to imagine what that would be like. My It reserves had run more or less empty, and I took a little trip to Hiroo to test fate herself and see whether It existed there. I found the snack section, found the cracker section within the snack section, and scanned the shelves. No friendly red box, there. It was sad, but what could one expect? The cheese cracker is something of a niche market even in its native culture. At least they didn’t stock some lame knock-off like Cheese Nips. Gimme a break. As I moved away from the snack section, defeated, there it was: a special section all its own near the checkout lanes, with featured snack products. Right there on the middle shelf where three glimmering red boxes of It. I bought them all. This photo is actually from my second trip to Hiroo, after finishing the original three boxes. I picked up three more boxes, along with some Wild Cherry Pepsi, Pepsi Twist, Campbell’s Soup, Orangina (named Exploding Potion by my Diablo-II-playing brother-in-law Thom), and Johnsonville Bratwurst. That’s my USA-products stockpile for the next few weeks. Don’t worry; I’m eating sushi and stuff, too. I also picked up three more volumes of Hitsuji no Uta on the way home; it’s this pretty obscure manga about vampires. I just realized the other night that I’ve read through like a dozen whole manga volumes in Japanese. I don’t know just when it happened, but somewhere between the night I thought to myself “hey, it would be fun to learn Japanese” and now, I’ve actually gotten to the point where I can understand a whole dang manga book. It’s blowing my mind.