It’s almost been two years since I’ve moved from Sydney to Osaka, and it’s safe to say there’s a few things that I miss terribly from home. You start to notice the little things that are lacking quite quickly. Even though they may seem so trivial, you realise how much they mean to you. The things I’ll talk about will primarily be understood by Australians and maybe New Zealanders, so I’m sorry if there is a cultural gap. However, there is some useful information that may interest you!
In Sydney, there is wide variety of nationalities living here that all types of foods are so readily available. Pho and Banh Mi in Cabramatta, Hummus and Tabouli in Bankstown, Charcoal Chicken and Pasteis de Nata in Petersham… Even the post-pub crawl kebab when you’re absolutely ruined from the night out. And, even though it’s not a food, but a good cup of coffee.
Osaka’s coffee culture has been booming in the past year that I’ve been able to find delicious cappuccinos like I could get at home.
The food here is amazing with generous portions, and the vibe is chill af.
Sandwiches are little on the expensive side, but so so tasty. The Coffee is also A+
They make all their bread and cakes in house, and coffee is amazing.
I personally know the barista (who speaks English fluently!) who works here, and the coffee is amazing. He also works at West Wood Bakers. The pies, unfortunately, are not meat pies. So my American friends, rejoice! They sell American-style pies! Yum yum.
Most of the time though it’s a watered-down milk mess. Where the coffee at fam?
Fruit and vegetables (other than bananas and cabbage) are stupid expensive. Although the quality is great and I’ve (almost) never had a bad fruit, it’s too expensive to buy. Despite in season, Mangos in the summer go from ¥400 to ¥1500, compared to the tray you can get in Sydney for the same price with Mangos double the size. Watermelon is also expensive, once I came across a ¥9000 melon, and I’m wondering if it was that expensive because it had the novelty of ‘dinosaur egg’ attached to it. The same melon would have cost $5 in Sydney (I usually found them for about 99c/kg).
Cheese. Cheesseeee. Japan’s cheese variety is… Well… Abysmal. But! Japan has also in the past few months been upping their cheese game. I’ve noticed that camembert and brie are easily available at the supermarket. The reason of the scarcity of cheese in Japan as I’ve heard is due to a dairy import/export law to protect their local dairy farmers which are primarily located in Hokkaido. Which is fair enough and really respectable, actually.
Aren’t the cows cold tho? Poor cows.
I really miss haloumi though, and feta costs $15. Why y’all hate international cheese, Japan?
When I watch those Tasty Japan videos on Facebook I almost get mad because I just think “You can’t even buy 80% of what they’re using in this video, man.” And if it is available, it’d probably cost you more than what you’d pay for a couple of day’s worth of food for one portion.
It’s either Korean dramas, old Showa dramas, or talk shows with a bunch of celebrities eating food followed by ‘Umaiiiii’ (which means ‘delicious’ in Japanese). I’ve also had friends ask about game shows (which they all referenced from Simpsons I guess!) but those shows are usually exclusive to Japanese celebrities. What I really miss is waking up (or even after a night out) on the weekend, turning on the TV to ABC and catching rage.
*breathless, low husky voice* rrrrraggggeeeee…
Or even a crazy ass movie from god knows where on SBS. I also miss Lee Lin Chin giving me the T.
The real Prime Minister of Australia guys.
Family and friends
Although I have made a few great friends that I now call my family, there are times where I just want to go and see my sister and her family, or eat my mum’s cooking without having to pay thousands of dollarydoos.
Finding a good ibuprofen in Japan is hard. Especially when you think you’ve found a good 150mg painkiller, it’s actually 150mg for the maximum dosage (usually 2 tablets). What I have found to be effective here in the land of the rising sun is:
EVE (try to go for the Quick DX type)
If you’re a lady with hobbitses sized feet, goooooood luck. Anything over AU8.5 is almost impossible to find, and even 8.5 you’re pushing it a bit. Men, if you’re a size 10 and over you will also have trouble finding shoes. I don’t mind as such, as I usually wear my Doc Martens, Converse or running shoes. However, if I want to wear nice shoes for an event I’ll have to pull out my shoes that are over 3 years old. Well, if the shoe fits..!
The ‘no worries mate’ attitude
Aka if it’s a pain in the butt, we’re just like ye nah no worries mate. My friend Benny told me when he visited Australia, he didn’t understand the bus ticketing system and was short a dollar or two. The bus driver just shrugged and said ‘no worries mate, get on’. Everything here is so by the book sometimes, perhaps it’s our lazy (I prefer to say, gracious and generous) attitude that I miss.
Don't get me wrong! I love living and working in Japan, but of course everybody misses their hometown once in awhile.
There are so many ways that we cope with the forlorn feeling of being away from home. Just hearing the strong okka accents on the streets of Dotonbori when I spot Australians on holiday, and receiving care packages of nurofen zavance as well as some Tim Tams picks me right up.
Well, until next time! I'll be heading off to Okinawa for NYE, so I'll be sure to write about that!