Mrs. J-List has joined me in San Diego, and I’ve spent a few days taking her around doing “San Diego-ey” things, like visiting the iconic Hotel del Coronado and exploring restaurants downtown. I’ve also taken her shopping to buy various things she needs to pick up while in the U.S., like make-up (brands that cost $9 at Target are three times that much in Japan), taco and fajita mix, Zip-Loc bags, and Jell-O brand pudding which are unavailable in Japan. Buying omiyage — souvenirs — is a very big deal to the Japanese, and a lot of our time has been spent shopping for gifts for friends, the J-List staff in Japan and/or business acquaintances. Some of the gifts she’s picking up are quite interesting, including cinnamon flavored Colgate toothpaste (American toothpaste has more fluoride than in Japan, so it makes a practical gift), Newport cigarettes (they’re unavailable inside Japan and thus are a sought-after item by men who smoke) plus those Tide detergent “Pods” which my wife just loves. My son back in Japan made a request too, that she bring back a box of Lucky Charms, which he says “tastes like America.” (Now we’re off to Vegas for our vacation, so no update on Friday. See everyone next week!)
I’ve been shopping for odd American products with my wife.