After enjoying a delicious assortment of vegetable tempura at my local Tenya tempura shop, I went grocery shopping across the street at Seiyu.

When I was packing my groceries I couldn’t help noticing that the middle-aged woman standing next to me was staring at my groceries and smiling in a most peculiar way.

It wasn’t that she was pleased to see a (male/foreigner) doing groceries since she wasn’t at all staring at me. After she left I paused for a moment to figure out what it could have been.

I suddenly realized that the assortment of items that I had purchased could not have been more stereotypical Western if I had tried: Three liters of drinkable yoghurt, a bag of potatoes, a loaf of bread, and a pack of raw beef chunks.