Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
hates this cup and I made him promise not to break it. I think it has
been hard on him.
By the way, the writing on the side says "My rabbit Pipi and my bear
Popo are my very own special treasures. Sleep, teatine, we do
Thursday, April 22, 2010
I have an iPhone which I could not live without. It helps me stay in touch with friends and family back home by doing dumb stuff like making videos of me buying coffee from a vending machine. Lately, I've been making mini-docudramas on my daily life in Japan and sending them to my friend Dolly*. I'm officially obsessed with sending her mundane clips of me shakily walking across the street. I promise to make them more interesting, but this first one gives you a glimpse of how my morning starts. Don't mind my weird narration voice. For some reason, when you make iPhone videos, you talk in a sing songy baby voice.
*Not her real name, though she wishes it was.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I should mention that I am not a cat person. I've grown up with dogs my whole life so cats just don't appeal to me. People like to say that cats are great because they are independent and don't need you. That does not sound interesting to me. If I wanted that, I'd go get a career oriented girlfriend.
The cafe we went to is called Nekorobi in Ikebukuro. There are a lot of cat cafes in Ikebukuro, so people often call it Nekobukuro. (Neko means cat in Japanese.) You pay 1,000 yen an hour for all you can drink vending machine drinks and candy. They also give you a small bag of cat food to feed the cats. That is basically the only way you can get the cats to play with you. Once you run out of food, you're boned. Check out the action:
It was pretty silly and Kathy and I got lots of giggles in, but it's also a pretty sad place. It's more like a kitty nap room than a cafe and it was sad to watch all the excited kids be disappointed by the lame cats. It is even more sad to see the middle-aged women trying to coax the uninterested felines.
No thank you cat cafes. I will stick to reading Corgi Style magazine at the bookstore and drooling over the sedated puppies at the pet stores like a creepy dogophile.
*** I wanted to link "sedated puppies" to a pet store called Wan's Style in Roppongi. When I went to Google it, the first post came up with my own blog. Apparently, I have already talked about my disgusting pet store visits.
Monday, April 19, 2010
I prefer yakiudon to yakisoba because I like the texture of udon noodles more than the noodles they use in yakisoba. Considering the name, you'd think they'd be buckwheat soba noodles, but you'd be wrong! Yakisoba is actually made with egg noodles similar to the ones you find in ramen. Please feel free to use this tidbit to start a conversation with a good looking stranger.
Kathy is a really good cook by the way. I'm more of a baker - I use measurements and am sometimes overly anal about cooking. She's a free spirit and her recipe instructions are fun because they force me to experiment and go with the flow. In the spirit of Ms. Ha, here is the basic recipe:
1. Heat up some oil in a hot wok or skillet. Add chopped garlic and ginger.
2. Add onions (greed, white, yellow - whatever). Add pork belly slices (beef if you prefer). Salt and pepper. Cook awhile until pork is cooked.
3. At this point, you can add any other veggies you like - mushrooms, carrots, bean sprouts, bell peppers. The sky's the limit!
4. Add kimchi and mix well.
5. Add boiled udon or egg noodles. Add about 1 TB of soy sauce, 1 TB mirin and some sesame seed oil.
6. Add chopped cabbage at the end and mix well.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
My friend Natsuko and I in Shinjuku Gyoen on a rather cold Sunday afternoon
Our Hanami Spread: potato salad, egg omelet, inari, green beans wrapped in pork, fried chicken, rice crackers, mochi and red wine with orange juice.
It was a busy day at the park, here are our neighbors who got pretty rowdy on champagne.
Kyoto Style Hanami - more food vendors and little benches and tables.
Another popular hanami spot in Tokyo is Nakameguro. There are lots of cute restaurants and bars that sell drinks to-go so you can stroll down the river and enjoy the flowers.
View from above. Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto.
Happy Cherry Blossom viewing!