When I first came to Japan one of my early impressions was amazement over precision driving techniques, or rather parking techniques. The ability of drivers to back onto spots only marginally larger than their car impressed me to no end. One trip to Costco on Saturday, however, proved that ability is highly situational. The very same drivers who had lined parked their cars with such precision in the parking lot above, when put in charge of a four wheeled vehicle not much smaller, were suddenly unable to follow even the most basic of road rules. It must have been the presence of all that cheese that interfered with their cognitive and fine motor skills - or maybe that was just me. (I may or may not have hugged a huge block of sharp cheddar cheese and stroked it for a while before relinquishing it to the cart.
Annnnnyways, Saturday was an outing to Costco. U and I picked up Umebossy and S and headed to the wilds of Saitama. We had lunch at Alishan, a yummy vegetarian restaurant with a patio overlooking the river. U wasn't quite sure about it at first, but he ended up loving the restaurant and promising to take me back in the spring/summer when we can also hike the nearby mountains.
Then it was on to the main attraction. Just as soon as we got through the traffic jam that was the turnoff to the outlet mall next to Costco...
And then much cheese (and juice and tortillas and dried/canned fruit and and and) was bought. U and I kept losing Umebossy and S, but with the occasional help of our cellphones we found each other again and checked out. We hit up the food court and I couldn't figure out why I was so hungry - until we realized we had been in Costco for over TWO HOURS! yeeks!
The drive home was rather quiet as we were all tired out (I conked out minutes after we dropped off Umebossy and S at their door and didn't wake until we were pulling up to my building. A rather exhausting day but good friends and good food equals good fun, and I'm very happy with my packed larder!