Sunday, December 28, 2008

John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt...That's my name too

Yeah...don't ask me about the title of today's was the first thing to pop into my head when I decided that the theme of day was about 'names'. Work with me here's late...I've got a ton of stuff to do before I can go to sleep...just keep moving...

So...names. Here in Japan, the names that some owners give to their places of business are generally a source of great humor for me.

For example....

we have a karaoke place named "Voice Shower",
a bar on the second floor of a building is called "The Basement",

a bar in the basement of another building is "Over the River",

I go shopping almost everyday at the "Mama Center",

another karaoke place is "Enjoy Time"...

I could sit here and type and type and type..because there are just that many that make me smile, but, I won't...I'm pretty sure you get the idea.

Anyhoots....a few weeks ago, I noticed a very small, quaint restaurant on a road that I drive on quite often. As with most places here, it just sort of appeared one day.

Then, a student was telling me about this really great Italian restaurant that just opened up and that I "should go because it's delicious".

Come to find out, he was talking about the little place that I had seen.

I asked him about the name of the place because, as I am speeding driving past, it's hard to see the sign on the front and I thought I knew what it said but.....I wasn't sure.

He said the name.

I asked him to repeat what he had said.

He repeated the name.

"Goo-ray-pu Natsu"

And I was all, "????????????".

Did he mean "Grape Nuts" like this??

Well, yes, but's more like "grape nuts" like these little lovelies...

...which tasted like Baklava disguised as cookies. Yumminess in yo mouth, luvs!!
Taking the advice of my student, I stopped in one day to make a reservation for a couple of my students and myself for Saturday (to celebrate the end of another year!!). The place is cute and comfortable and the owner and his wife (Hi, Natsuki!!) are really friendly. She was in New York for about a year and the cookies are her own original recipe...similar to something she ate while she was in the States!!
While I was talking to them about the name of their place, I asked if they knew what most Americans would think of when they heard "grape nuts"....okay, so yeah, Euell Gibbons comes to mind, too...but he would have been really hard to explain and I was running short on time, so I just tried to explain breakfast cereal...fiber...not very good...crunchy concepts to them.
Here..."breakfast cereal" is pretty much "Frosted Flakes"....hard, crunchy things that aren't actually grapes OR nuts were very difficult to understand.

We went yesterday for lunch...which was delicious!! The prices were very reasonable and I will definitely go back again. I will also tell my students about this place...they like to try new places!

I made a point of taking with me a small bag of Grape Nuts (oh yes, I do have some...I actually like 'em!!)....just so they could see for themselves what I was talking about. We all tasted the cereal and came to the conclusion, very quickly, that we preferred the cookies...hands down!
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And since we are on a "name" thing....the K-man Yahood me the other day...he must have been really bored to do that...but we found out something kind of interesting.

Are you ready for this???

I'm not the only Debbie Kuroiwa.

Now....I can understand other people being named Debbie. In 1962, the names Deborah, Debra and Debbie were #'s 9, 15 and 32 in the Most Popular Names list.

As for the name Kuroiwa, though not the Smith or Jones of Japan, there are quite a few "black rocks" (kuro=black, iwa=rock) running around the country. have another Debbie Kuroiwa?!?!?! Well...that's just a little weird, don't you think?? Aaaannnddddd...she is 47 AAAANNNDDDDd she lives in Hawaii.

I wonder if she is a teacher, too....THAT would be freaky!!

Have a great Sunday....may many things make you smile today!!!


Mike Golch said...

you are right that would be a little freaky.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Be glad you just found out about her--she must be pretty upstanding. The person that shares my first name and (pretty unusual) last name is a total deadbeat and I spend a lot of time convincing bill collectors I am not her.

smalltownmom said...

I think I'm the only one with my name.

Those cookies look good!

Ginaagain said...

I like grape nuts too but the cookies look a lot better! I love all the names.. I want to shop at the Mama Center.

Isn't it strange to find out there is someone with your name out there? When I was working last year I met a patient who had my maiden name.. and her husband had my brother's name. Neither of us have common names so it was especially strange. A few months ago at the gymnastics center I met another mom who has a ten year old named Delaney (which is definitely not common) and when we started talking we quickly discovered that we both have thirteen year old's named Taylor too!

hulagirlatheart said...

Grapenuts are okay...with lots of sugar.

Mike Golch said...

Debbie,I have an award for you on my site.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I've heard stories about silly names in Japan but never had anyone corroborate it until now. Awesome :D

Ms. Lea 李女士 said...

I Love your new Picture!! Too Fun!! I have this horrible urge to google my name, but at the same time it would be wierd to see someone else has it.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I wonder if she likes Grape Nuts.

Anonymous said...

Hey Deb, the name thing is quite funny. Believe it or not there are actually 2(me and another)Shellie/Shelly Renees' in Eads Co(population 650). We both moved here the same year, both are 47, both newlyweds, 2nd mariiage and both worked/is still working at the high school. We have the same warped sense of humor and Margaritas are our favorite drink.....hmmmmm. It's like we were twins with different parents. My mom told me God broke the mold when he made me......guess not.
Hope you ring in the New year with lots of fun and excitement.

phd in yogurtry said...

Those names (Voice Shower) are so funny. I hope you will take note and post more of them. I think I could read them endlessly.

I was thinking there is a theme here ... karaoke and bars.. I assume alcohol sold at karaoke clubs? But then, the grocery store, Mama Center (yeah, they got that right, whether we like it or not) kinda blew my theory.

phd in yogurtry said...

OH! And I luv the wings, angel-cakes!