William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

18. Catch Up

Now I’m sipping on my curry noodle cup-a-soup. It’s succeeded peanut butter and strawberry jam (or marmalade) on bread as my go-to meal. This tastes a lot better, and all you have to do is boil a kettle, then open the lid of the cup and pour. Maybe we have this in North America, too. This is seriously my first exposure to this kind of thing, though.

On Friday we went to Fuji Grand to see American Gangster. What a movie! It did so many little things well. You should probably just go see it.

The first night of the month is the time to go see a movie. The price drops to 1000 yen ($10) apiece. Regular price? Closer to $18. Yeah.

By the way, the multiplex at Fuji Grand is not just the best place in town to see a movie, it’s the only place. And it’s not just the only place in metro Tokushima, it’s the only place in the prefecture.

I think these two facts are related.

Nevertheless, it’s clear that local businesses support the multiplex – most of the pre-preview advertising was local. More than half of the ads were related to weddings, including one ad for diamonds, and two or three about local hotels and conference centres where you could have a wedding.

And then you could go back to the multiplex as part of your honeymoon. It’s cleaner than a North American multiplex, for one thing.

Back at the apartments, I had F. and D. over, and we stayed up gniknird and chatting until 6.

I dragged myself back out of bed at 9 to go with Mt. to a farmer’s market on the north side of town. (We had all been casually invited, but I was the only one who showed.) We went in his van, marking my first non death-defying drive in a private car in Japan. =) Once back, I went back to bed and couldn’t coax myself up again until nearly 2:30. I kept saying things to myself like, “Hey, don’t you want to live life to the fullest?” and “Wouldn’t you like to have time to go for a bike ride?” (to assist the motivation, I made cycling motions with my legs under the sheets). But nothing worked; I couldn’t lift myself out of bed until the terribly late hour of 2:30.

So after that, I started cleaning up the apartment and making preparations to have everyone over for an okonomiyaki-themed potluck.

[Argh. Someone just called me, but I have no idea what it was for or if it was important. She was pretty persistent, too. All I could say to her was, “This is William Matheson,” but she kept saying “Japanese blah blah blah Japanese there?” and then finally, “I don’t speak English,” in English. So I said, “I don’t speak Japanese,” in English followed by “Is this important? Who is this?” She was still humoredly persisting, so I said “one second,” in English and put down the phone to dig for my phrasebook. By the time I found out how to ask “Who it it?” and came back to the phone, she had hung up. Argh. Even Ukraine wasn’t this bad.]

So, anyway, that Saturday night was fun – we had our food and then used my internet and TV to watch a bunch of YouTube videos. One person would go up and fetch a favourite video, then someone else, then someone else… t’was good times. And that went on until about 2.

Sunday was the spring Setsubun, and so at 11am we all went to Fuji Grand, purchased our uncut makizushi (I was worried about it because although the fish inside was cooked, it did include long-stem mushrooms), and then took a table up in the food court. We all faced south-southeast (in our case, facing through an archway to the cell phone store) and when we were ready, we started eating.

We had to eat the rolls in one go without talking or making a sound, because otherwise our luck would run out of our mouths along with the noises or words. I took my first bite with sincere trepidation but swore internally that I’d try my best to slog through it despite the mushrooms. Seize the day, when in Rome Japan, and all that.

Much to my surprise, the roll was good! It was so good that I’d order it again as a lunch item with little hesitation. The texture was very reassuring, and the whole roll was easy to eat.

We then went our separate ways, intending to get together later for the bean-throwing back at the apartments. Some of us went to Mister Donut for doughnuts. Hmm… this was a disappointment. You just don’t get the same kind of deep-fried wonderful doughnuts that they have at Tim Horton’s back in North America. I mean, this didn’t stop the Japanese there from enjoying it, and it looks like it’s a huge chain for that reason. And… augh, one of my doughnuts had the purple fermented soybean-paste in it! I had bought one because its wrapper said it was “Hokkaido” something, and I like things that come from the north, so of course I bought it, but then it turned out to be bean paste. Augh. Oh well, at least it was edible, but the saddest part is that I can’t say too much more for the other doughnuts. They tasted like decorated bread.

After doughnuts, we went home, where everyone got caught up doing their own things (I think largely involving naps) and we never did get together to do the bean-scattering. So after a rather unproductive afternoon, I sat down and ate my twenty-six beans (one for each of my years), then I went into the kitchen and hurled some of the rest against the outside door. I realize now I forgot to say things like “Out, demons!” and “Bad luck perish! Good luck come in!” but I was really doing this just for fun anyway, so I’m not going to sweat it. (And I just read that I was supposed to scatter the beans first, and then eat the ones for my age.) In any case, thanks to L. for getting us all together and involved for this – it was fun, and well worth the time spent.

I’m going to probably start decreasing the frequency of these updates – the day-to-day news has become pretty routine, and besides that a lot of things are starting to pile up on my to-do list.

This coming weekend is a long weekend, and I hope to go up to Osaka. There will definitely be updates after that. But until then, this has been…

Your Pal,
~ Will
Tags: japan, movies, parties

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