Sunday, April 06, 2008

Still in the LotR(S) - though the sun has now set

The laptop is broken :-( The Builder went to move it at lunch time and the monitor up and died on us :-( It's covered in bits of blackness, or shimmering, multicoloured light lines :-( I assume we will be able to buy it a new monitor. Not here, of course, but once we get home. In the meantime, I think I might look into the possibility of getting a new laptop. The Builder and I have thought for a while that there are occasions when two would be handy. And I might venture into Mac-world - if it's not going to bankrupt me!

Apart from that little excitement, we've had a good day. Kaori arrived at 13:00. We had a sort of omelette with bacon and cheese. It tasted quite nice, if I do say so myself. Then Austin gave us the fermented soya bean taste test. The first mouthful was fairly innocuous, I thought. The second was slightly yeasty. I stopped at that point. It wasn't the taste that was worrying me but the slimy, sticky, thready look when you stirred it. It was the aftertaste that was slightly unpleasant. Very, very yeasty. I think I would say that it was so so. Mah mah desu. If obliged to eat it I would do, but I wouldn't choose to.

Right. Cherry blossom. We all CRAMMED ourselves into Austin's mini-car (it's mini in size, not in brand) and went to a local road with an avenue of cherry trees. It was very lovely. The trees were all absolutely covered in white blossom, and the breeze blew it down in snow drifts. The sun was shining, and the road had the local allotments on one side (the broad beans and peas are about a month advanced on ours). Japanese people were gathered in the little parks on the other side, eating, drinking and making merry. The children were playing with plastic baseball bats. There were barbecues and picnics. It was lovely.

Back in the car, and we went to inspect Austin's school in Godo, near Gifu. Then we went to a local shrine, cum temple, cum park where there was a pagoda, lots of little shrine houses and many stone urns and things. Godo was fairly dead, but then it was getting on, on a Sunday afternoon.

Time for bowling. The bowling alley expected me to know how mnay centimetres long my foot is. I have no idea. I had to guess. I am never in a million years ever going to win a bowling competition :-( My ball has a very distinct curl to the left. It kept falling in the gutter. Mind you, I did get a strike :-) And The Builder didn't do very well either, after quite a good start. But Kaori scored her highest score ever, so that was good. Austin won. Both times. Of course!

Then we went to the curry house for dinner. I played safe and had a super mild seafood curry. Kaori had a sort of cheesy, crab type croquette in super mild curry sauce. Austin had fried chicken. In a #1 curry sauce. The Builder, spurred on by Austin, had thinly sliced pork in #5 sauce!! Christian, apparently had a #7 (out of 10) and couldn't finish it. Ross, it seems had a #4 and did finish it. The Builder finished his. I think he's planning to try the #7 when we come back in a fortnight and see what happens.

I have discovered some other oddities about life in Japan. You can buy, in the supermarket, cans of gin and tonic (very light on the gin). You can buy in the pubs gin and tonic mixed to your liking. You can buy bottles of gin in the supermarkets. You cannot, however, buy bottles of tonic. We ended up buying orange juice instead. And yesterday, while eating my mixed seeds and dried mango strips for breakfast, I thought how nice it would be to have fresh mango with my seeds. We looked in a couple of places in Nagoya for fresh mango. The equivalent of TEN POUNDS. For a mango! There was one that cost upward of FIFTY POUNDS. There were a couple of little ones that cost £5 but even that seemed a tad expensive for a tiny, tiny mango. In the supermarket this evening I found a couple for the equivalent of £2.50. I have bought one. But fruit is spectacularly expensive. And vegetables are fairly expensive. And there are very few veggies offeed in the restaurants we've been to. Might have to go veggie when we get back home. At least for a week or so.
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