Sunday, August 22, 2010

Japanese fuuuu ^^

I felt very Japanese-ey about what I ate today! This is what I could describe as a very early dinner... or a mid morning snack. I don't really stick to normal meal times anyway (anytime is mealtime in my books), but my sleeping pattern lately has messed up my eating times even more than usual! I woke up at... drumroll... 2pm. Hey, I'm a university student on summer vacation - its my right! So I had a normal breakfast, then only a few hours later enjoyed this wee snack with a friend. He went back to the USA, his home country, just this evening. So we shared a bottle of Kirin and a lovely Japanese sweet treat he bought at a well established sweets shop. A beautiful, monochromatic snack. Monochromatic snack - say that 10 times fast.
It was a huge grapefruit (!? slightly less bitter), cleanly cut then filled with grapefruit(!?) jelly. It was delicious, the jelly was a lovely texture that just turned to juice in your mouth, and the beer was... beer. How can you go wrong?

So, waking up so late, I never got around to fulfilling my scone plans. Another time. But I had an AMAZING time with my new "bosses" and their family. We talked about everything from Japanese puns (the father really reminded me of my own - every utterance held a pun and elicited a groan), to whether Japanese men having the 'samurai spirit' is a good thing or not. Theres two great words in Japanese - 草食系男 子 (soushyokukei danshi) and 肉食系男子 (nikushyokukei danshi). Literally, herbivorous and carnivorous male types. Herbivorous refers to a 'new breed' of men, probably the closest equivilent in English would be "metro". They care about how they look, use skincare products and don't drink as much as their 'carnivorous' counterparts (although in Japan they take it a bit further than we see in the west - wearing makeup, styling hair to perfection etc). They also tend to groom their eyebrows, but this is a normal occurance amongst Japanese males, herbivorous or carnivorous. I've seen a few articles about this new breed of male in the newspaper, and some older Japanese seem worried that they will weaken the country. Theres a lot more to it, but basicly they don't fit traditional norms - its all rather interesting and I want to do some more research!

But ANYWAY, we enjoyed lively conversation (that made me feel, for once, that my Japanese has improved since I got here!), plenty of Asahi (from bottles ^^ I can TASTE CAN), amaaazing sushi, edamame (salted boiled beans) deep fried prawns and okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki - a specialty from the Osaka area (above). Literally, "Your honorable preference, fried". That sums it up. A thick base batter, with a few veges (spring onions mainly), and your preference. In this case, prawn and squid ^^ And slathered in salty okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayonaise, seaweed and katsuobushi (bonito flakes).

It was a FEAST, but with enough chatter that I didn't eat until I had to lie down (as Soup Thursdays often ended!). I've read that some of the oldest people in Japan attribute their long life to a well balanced Japanese diet (somehow I don't think deep fried prawn and okonomiyaki fall under this though...), and eating until you are only 70% full. I'm on my way!

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