Showing posts with label Coffee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coffee. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 April 2018

3 - Coffee in Japan

(Wednesday 28th March, Sumoto)

Upon finally dragging my bone-weary Rumplestiltskin-like carcass reluctantly out of bed around 10am I discovered several things: there is indeed a kindergarten right next door; it was bright and sunny; cherry blossom is blooming; we really are in Japan.

Another can of hot coffee!? Well, two in six years ain't bad I guess!
After having a few pieces of fruit I went downstairs for a walk around while my family got themselves together. Next I went directly to this vending machine and bought a hot can of coffee. Only someone who's lived in Japan for several years and been away for several years can appreciate these cans of hot coffee as much as I did this morning. It was like the honey milk and golden nectar of the gods. With caffeine. The third thing I did was stumble upon a beach I'd known nothing about a stone's throw away (had our balcony been higher up and facing the right direction) with a small wood of trees growing out the sand.

Gates to Japanese shrines have always held a special fascination 

Outside the nearby school I was chatted to by a group of the school soccer team in cheery English, reminding me of the good old days when I used to teach in JHS and HS.

Trees growing out of sand

In the centre of Sumoto are two large department stores - one called Aeon, which is like a completely enclosed ecosystem where you could survive indefinitely if it were underground and there had been a nuclear war - and the other called Edion, which would provide all your conceivably necessary electric and electronic appliances should there be a nuclear holocaust and the two be connected by an underground tunnel. In Aeon you'd barter for ramen and coffee, haggle for trendy pouch bags, and trade whatever you managed to scavenge from your destroyed abode for time with robots and playing House Of The Dead 4 killing zombies to take your mind off the threat of being attacked by zombies. In Edion you'd exchange bottles of only slightly radioactive water for USB 3.0 adaptors to edit your apocalyptic music video and Bayblades to keep your kids' spirits up.
Original Bayblades - Only available in Japan
'Are you talkin' to me?'
Bayblades are these futuristic spinning tops that feature in the TV anime Bayblade Burst. You fire them off in an arena and they kind of battle it out until one of them either stops spinning, gets pushed out or explodes, sending shrapnel in all directions at high speeds - hence the protective guard. You can get defence types, attack types, sustain types and mix and match sections to experiment. Actually pretty interesting for kids. Even in Edion sales are restricted to one per person.
Happily Japanese letter boxes are still Heinz Tomato Soup coloured
In the evening we had dinner with my wife's friend and her husband who we met last night and I had to fight back the irrational desire to apologise for the poor quality of my Japanese, even though that was the only practical way to communicate. As it turns out I'd had several conversations with my family last night that I had absolutely no memory of whatsoever, so I started off by enquiring of the husband what he did for a living sure that I'd already asked him and forgotten, and concluded (by way of youtube videos and electronic dictionaries) he was a Seaweed Paper Inspector. I think I would have remembered that. I may have misunderstood but I think he said it was a very deep job, he was under a lot of pressure and working flat out.

This guy!