This morning I was late for work, so I grabbed a piece of toast and prepared to run out the door with it hanging out of my mouth, anime style. I reached for the peanut butter and saw that I was almost out, so I stood there scooping every precious bit from the bottom of the jar to put on my toast. American peanut butter is one of those things I’ve really come to appreciate since coming to Japan, because no matter how long I live here I just can’t learn to like the overly-sweet “peanuts butter” the locals eat. Other items I didn’t value enough until I couldn’t find them easily included Vlassic pickles, micro-brewed beer, a good selection of cheese and of course all manner of Mexican food. Root beer is another item that’s quite difficult to find in Japan, except for Okinawa where it’s a local favorite and A&W restaurants are five times more common than McDonald’s (go figure). In our refrigerator right now there’s a single can of root beer, which my family of four is going to divide up tonight as root beer floats because we only have one can — isn’t that pathetic? Living away from your home country really makes you appreciate the little things in life, which is why I always recommend studying a year abroad to young people whenever I get the chance.
Living in Japan makes you appreciate the little things in life.