Wednesday, February 17, 2010

About Valentine's... mostly.

Happy February! As of the 27th, I will have been living in Japan for 7 months. I suppose I completely glossed over the half-a-year milestone, so I’m celebrating by eating some turducken. Well, not really, but I will stuff some food into some other delicious food stuffed into some other delicious food. I’ll probably make ramadamatamagoyakiso…ba.
Valentine’s Day was mostly spent nerding around at some museums this year. We went to the Tokyo National Museum, the oldest and largest museum in Japan, which houses an excellent Asian exhibit and a ton of National Treasures. I’m happy to report that I learned the Japanese word for Archduke (taikou) from an old-timey English-Japanese dictionary. I do hope it comes in handy. We also went to a futuristic science museum on Odaiba, a man-made island near Tokyo Bay. Odaiba is well-known for its newfangled architecture. Check out the Fuji TV building:

Among the exhibits at the science museum were a giant pinball machinesque simulation of the internet, real-time displays of data from a huge array of seismometers across Japan which show the whole country vibrating, Asimo/other cool robotic business, and space stuff. I was looking forward to seeing the Maglev Train model, but couldn’t find it. There was also an exhibit devoted to creating awareness about man’s negative environmental impact, and Adam and I exchanged ironic glances as we stood on the artificially made ground. At any rate, I feel safe knowing that the mountain warrior-priest responsible for Japan’s ninja-grip on technology is using it for good, not evil.

I packed this bento for our lunch, my best attempt to date. By the way, bentos have been way easier to make now that I have access to every kind of Japanese ingredient. The pink heart sushi was made with denbu, which is a kind of fish egg product, only it’s sweet and very pink. And my octodogs aren’t gross anymore, because now I can use sausages specially made for octodogging purposes.

When we sat down and cracked out the bento, in less than two seconds a bird came over and pooed on it, with fevered intent. I swear to god it was just waiting for us. Luckily, only one of the tamago pieces was soiled, which was easily isolated and disposed of. Adam graciously ate from the poo-bento first, while I cursed all birds to hell with angry fist-shaky action. I was disinclined to partake, as I am neurotic about poo-related skin diseases, but Adam said it was fine and I eventually gave in.

While we’re on the subject, and this being the classy blog it is, here’s a textbook example of the tendency for Japanese to anthropomorphize everything, sometimes with terrifying results:

Anyway, as the day wrapped up, Godzilla came over and stomped on the Fuji TV building and we ran for our lives.

VoilĂ , c’est la fin.