Welcome to another look into what makes the missionary tick!
My friend is always finding wonderful opportunities to share tidbits of information on her blog, and sometimes, I then also share them on my blog. I don’t always, but since this one was about coffee mugs, and because my first love, even before sumo, was coffee — this seemed very appropriate. The theme is to talk about seven coffee mugs in my cupboard.
As a coffee fanatic, I probably have a mug for every mood, but most of them are packed in a box somewhere in Middle America. And in Japan, I only have seven mugs. However, if you read until the end, you will be quite humored by the collection.
1. A large, wonderful and fantastic mug from Ireland, omiyage from my friend who visited … well, Ireland. (omiyage is Japanese for souvenir, but as I always spell the English word wrong, the Japanese word has become part of my English vocabulary!). Alas, though, the handle broke on this wonderful, fantastic, and large mug (Did I mention this awesome mug holds a lot of coffee at one time?).
I am on the hunt for superglue.
2. A simple white mug with blue designs, from the 100 yen shop, Japan’s equivalent of a dollar store. My roommates and I each bought one when we moved to Japan and discovered there weren’t enough mugs in our house for each of us.
3. A “Parody Mug.” This orange mug with a funny face on it and lots of Japanese took me a long time to decipher. It was one of the mugs in my house when I moved in. (I mean, it was the only mug in the house when I moved in). After a year and a half of watching Japanese television, I finally figured out it is making fun of one of the popular comedians on Japanese television. I still can’t read all of it, but I feel victorious at having gotten that much.
Mugs 4, 5, and 6 are travel mugs from Starbucks. Yes, I know. But, two of them were gifts.
4. When I first moved to Japan, I did not have a travel mug and this is an essential household item. So, I bought the cheapest one I could find, which, believe it or not, turned out to be from Starbucks. It says Tokyo on it, but it isn’t very pretty. That was Fall of 2005.
5. Then, in the Fall of 2006, my aunt and uncle were in Tokyo for a visit. And as a thank you for showing us around Tokyo present, they gave me a mug I had looked at when we went for coffee one time. It celebrates the 10th anniversary of Starbucks in Tokyo. And is quite cute.
6. Then, only a few months after that, I received a birthday present of a beautiful mug showing a Japanese style painting. It was one of the New Year Mugs, and says Japan 2007. Considering I haven’t even been to Starbucks at all in the last several months, this is quite the collection! One mug for every year I’ve been here so far. Think someone will buy me yet another one before I leave next year?
And finally — number 7. Yet another travel mug. This is the one I use the most, since I don’t go to Starbucks, but to a locally-owned coffee shop. The coffee there is from a certification program ensuring fair prices and responsible farming, etc. Finally, after going to this store (regularly) for a year and a half, the owner now sells travel mugs. Yea! Now I can get a coffee on my way to work, and it’s both cheaper than Starbucks, and good for the farmers (hmm, not that I ever went to Starbucks on my way to work — maybe it’s not cheaper!). And the mug is bigger. Oh, and the picture? It’s a Vespa scooter and a bee: “Bees,” being the name of the shop, and a Vespa being the shop owner’s mode of transportation.