Originally I thought I would have to pass on this 5 Fandom Friday because wearing my fandom isn't really my thing. But then I realized: I have all kinds of weird shit from Asia. Considering how much Japan is tied in with fandom, I decided this prompt would be a good time to show off the little bits and baubles I have that I would otherwise never talk about!
The reason I have so much weird shit from Asia is because I lived and taught in South Korea for two years and change. I did bring home some great stuff with me, but most of the things I have on hand are from care packages sent by my friend Breda, a fellow NEST (native English speaker/speaking teacher) who has graduated to a grown-up non-teaching job in Seoul.
1. Cute stationery
One of my favorite stores in South Korea was Daiso (okay, actually a Japanese chain). It's basically a dollar store, but without that sense of dread and despair that hangs over most dollar stores in the US. Every store I visited was light, well-lit, clean, organized, and attractive.
There was one on my way home from work at one of my schools and I liked to stop by and pick through the notebooks. I had quite a few by the end of it but a lot of them were small and went missing pretty easily. Breda understands my love of cute-weird Korean notebooks and usually sends one whenever she sends a package. The bottom two here are Korean; the top one (with the peas) is Japanese. It has one of those holographic covers and it's what I use for my jewelry references: digits of different numbers (out to a ridiculous place), plans and designs for more complicated pieces, etc.
The "Hi, hobo." notebook is what I use to keep track of my library "to-reads"; which books are available at which branch and which ones aren't available at all, etc.
The bunnies one is the newest—I just got it last week or so—and I'm not entirely sure what I want to use it for yet.
Okay, a quick break from the Japanese/Korean stuff to the only proper fandom-ish things I have: my extensive t-shirt collection. Not pictured is a Batman t-shirt (an actual DC-licensed t-shirt in a Korean department store....pretty surprising, considering how often IP infringement/theft happens over there), a Snakes on a Plane shirt, and an MST3K sweatshirt. Sure, t-shirts are apparel, not an accessory, but I needed to hit five! Plus, t-shirts are the best.
I just pulled out this one here because it's probably my favorite. It's funny on its own, for one, and it's also an item from one of my favorite webcomics, the supremely underrated and underappreciated Cat and Girl.
3. Japanese melon wallet/change purse
We're back to the cute/weird Asian stuff again. Breda takes a lot of trips to Japan, so many that I joke she should get one of those punch cards. The tenth trip is free!
This is from a time when she went to somewhere famous for melons. She included melon-flavored gummy candy in this package as well, but it's not pictured since that package was a while ago and we ate all of it in two days.
4. Hello Kitty nail decals
These are super cute (and officially licensed by Sanrio!) but I have such tiny nail beds (pictured) that I'm afraid they won't come out well. Most of the stickers are really far too wide. Instead, I'm happy to have them hanging on my wall, as a pick-me-up/reminder that I have friends.
5. Cute/fandom-ish socks
Korea (and Japan too, from what I've heard) is basically the sock capital of the world. There are so many fun or bizarre designs available that you can't help buying a pair or two whenever you're out.
At the farmer's market where I grew up in the states, there was one stall called "Sock City" that was nothing but socks. The idea of a socks-only store seemed weird to me back then, but after being in Korea the concept made total sense. There were trucks that would drive around and park somewhere for a day or two just selling a billion different kinds of socks. I was not surprised when I returned to "Sock City" as an adult in need of socks and saw that they were all made in Korea. /csb
This represents maybe two-thirds of the cute socks I've gotten from Breda—there are a couple in the wash or that I couldn't otherwise scrounge up. Note the totally unlicensed Star Wars and RoboCop socks (on the left and right, respectively). The middle ones are just cute designs and not any kind of recurring character. Also, the gray sock immediately next to the Star Wars sock has a sticky-outy tail sewn on, in case the picture doesn't make that clear. The bottom of his shoe says "nice," so put together with his hat it says B NICE. And the pig next to him is drinking beer, and it even says "Beer ♥".
I don't know why Korea and Japan excel at having such cute little foot cozies and the US doesn't. Is it because school uniforms are much more prevalent and socks are the few ways students get to express themselves? Is it because people in the US and other Western countries are more prone to wearing shoes indoors?
Anyway, that wraps up my 5 Fandom Friday! What cute/weird/foreign stuff have you received in a care package?