Valentine’s Day

I lay in bed last night annoyed that I didn’t grab my cell phone to set an alarm, but too cold and tired to be bothered to get out of bed and fetch it.  Big mistake.  I woke up at 12:45.  We didn’t go get haircuts until 2, but waking up that late will screw me up for the week.

So, from 2-4 we were at Hair Techno again getting haircuts.  Ikuko’s dad again spent quite a bit of time chatting with Mike and everyone commented on the scarf I’ve been working on since August.
The yarn was a bitchin’ buy at the Brooklyn General Store.  I can’t remember the dye lot or brand, but I know it was $12 haha.  The pattern, a basketweave, is called “Mom’s Sophisticated Scarf” and it’s from Debbie Stoller’s awesome book, Stitch N’ Bitch Nation.

Sorry, no photos of our haircuts this time around.  We biked around in the rain for a while afterward.  And, if you want more detail about the Japanese salon experience, read my earlier post: Gaijin’s first haircut.

Our original plan was to hit up Ipinko Ramen – a place my boss loves for their gyoza (little football-shaped fried dumplings with pork & vegetables), but they weren’t open yet.  Ikuko’s dad actually called them for us to find out when they opened (like I said, he’s really sweet).
To waste time for an hour we went to the cheap international food store with a very extensive liquor section, YaMaYa.  Here’s some of what we bought:
Disclaimer: Despite how it seems, I have pretty good taste in food.  Attribute the Pringles to the it’s-so-bad-we-have-to-try it mentality of people who eat the Double Down at KFC.
(I actually interviewed these kids while I was at the paper.  Read the article here: Buzz over KFC’s Double Down hits Staten Island.  Still one of my funnest assignments.)

As for the ready made mixes, I usually make everything from scratch at home (especially taco seasoning & Indian food… curry mixing is an art), but with my 40 minute breaks I just don’t have time.

Now, after doing two loads of laundry, we’re relaxing.  Drinking that wine (which we actually first found from a trip to Montreal two summers ago) and I’m watching Mike play an old video game named Deus Ex.  It’s a very Mike and Michelle evening.

Some old vacation photos from Montreal click here for more.
St. Valentine’s Day in Japan
The Japanese celebrate Valentine’s Day in somewhat the same fashion as Americans, but there are two big differences: 1. It’s St. Valentine’s Day here though there’s no religious connotation (which I find strange since they are not a Christian nation, though America’s not supposed to be either… but that’s a different rant) and 2. It’s only half-romantic. I guess it’s the same in the US… when you’re little your parents get you candy even though the holiday is mostly for adults, Hallmark, and the chocolate companies.  But, in Japan, Valentine’s Day is strictly for men.  Girls give candies to their fathers & women to the men in their life, even non-romantic relationships.  On the flipside there’s White Day – March 13th – where women can expect to receive chocolates from the men.  Overall, I like the system better.  Less pressure, more fair, and I think it’s cuter.


About Michelle

I lived in Japan for a year & a half teaching English. Now I'm blogging about learning to cook in NYC.
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