wood cat


incidents and accidents, hints and allegations

wood cat
Kate kate_nepveu
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Two Weeks in Review

Last weekend we spent in Michigan with friends of Chad's from college, which was low-key fun: much grilled food, and hanging out by the Lake, and so forth. This weekend can be summed up in three letters:

Dear Local Independent Bookstore,

I was planning to support you by purchasing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at your establishment. However, when I arrived at your store at 9:30 a.m. and found that you didn't open until 10:00, I said to myself, "If I go to the Borders across the street, I could be home by 10:00."

And so I was.

Very truly yours,

A missed customer

* * *

Dear bathing suit manufacturers,

Thank you for finally realizing that it's often much easier to find a comfortable and well-fitting bathing suit if one can mix and match tops and bottoms. Now that you've made lots of non-bikinis available in two pieces, I actually finished my Quest for Spare Bathing Suits in a good mood.



* * *

Dear Eddie Bauer,

No company that sends me as many catalogs as you do has any business carrying "store-only" items. You could have sold four or five pairs of shorts today, instead of just the one that the local store had in my size.

Very truly yours,

A mildly peeved customer

The shorts were going to be for Japan, but Chad suggested that maybe they wouldn't be appropriate, because he didn't recall seeing a lot of people wearing them and felt that the general custom was a little dressier. Thoughts, anyone? (I was thinking shorts because (1) it's going to be hot and (2) I'd like to wear sneakers rather than sandals, and my personal dress code does not include sneakers with skirts.)

Definitely men generally do not wear shorts in Japan (one exception: jogging and other exercise), and I don't think women do, either. I was going to try to respect that, but quickly caved and wore shorts. I didn't think heat stroke or even heat rash was worth trying to conform to local customs :(

Thanks--though I'll remember it for non-outdoor-tourism purposes.

Don't know how "sneakers" are defined.

In my experience, there exist walking-comfortable non-garish cloth top, rubbery-bottom shoes that one can wear with skirts. (I admit, I don't, but DW does. She also says that a lot of people going to work do. OK, we're near 70 - dye your hair if you must.)

I'm not looking to purchase additional shoes at this point, as my existing sandals are comfortable enough for anything but heavy tourism; but thanks.

The Japanese generally don't wear shorts, but boy, the tourists sure do. My husband didn't get any guff about it, either. Wear 'em if that's what you're comfortable in.

Good. Thanks.

Short shorts or mid-thigh shorts? The Japanese do wear shorts when it's appropriate but their definition of appropriate is different from ours, and short shorts are only kosher for sports. Mid-thigh or knee-length shorts are fine for gaijin and avoid both a) the sweaty leg chafing I get with skirts in humid climates and b) sunburn. (Is a very very hot sun, the sun in Japan.)

Coupla caveats: countryside usage is different from city, monasteries and temples can be particular about this, and there are probably still Japanese around who think that if you look Japanese you are Japanese and why are you behaving like a gaijin. They may not say anything but they'll be thinking it hard, and you may pick up on them doing it.

Thanks. Mid-thigh, and I'll keep that in mind for monsateries & temples.

When I've run across temples that are particular about the dress code, the standard seems to be shoulders and legs covered (and all the bits in between, obviously).

If you want to look like a fashionable young Japanese woman, you could wear short cuffed shorts and a dressy top with high heels. Sartorial horror!

I stumbled on a flickr photoset here from a recent walk around Tokyo (via Joi Ito). I spot few shorts, but lots of skirts above the knee. However, I've got a guy eye for fashion; discount accordingly.