30 April 2008
This was my dinner last night, as well as a bowl of rice and miso soup. This is katsuo sashimi. Katsuo is like tuna, so quite flavourful and oily, very, very good. And the best bit, well theres a couple, it has been seared on all sides, yum, and when you eat it you put a little wasabi and a little fresh ginger on, roll it up and dip into soy sauce, then eat. It is so simple, ready prepared, this amount cost $4 and super dooper healthy. It is my latest kick, I have been eating it a lot. And to balance it out I found a very good block of orange swiss chocolate...lucky I only visit that shop once a week.......
29 April 2008
I was driving today and happened to have Paul Kelly on the stezza. Portable Aussieness and home-ness such as tunes and the like are so important when you live far away. And, for a change I wasnt using music as a means to block out schreeching (KISS works best) or helping to prevent it, I was actually listening to it. This song, Deeper Water, these days brings a lump to my throat. What a beautiful song, it is so much more meaning ful now I have my own son. I think PK is one of the most clever and sweet and simple yet profound storytellers of my time.
28 April 2008
27 April 2008
26 April 2008
24 April 2008
I was so lucky to have an amazing day today. Well, the mooch went to day care for half a day and my darling took the morning off work so we could go to buy me a coffee maker, hooray!! We planned to go to one of the most bizarre/interesting places in Tokyo called Kappabashi . It is so interesting you could really spend a lot longer than we did. Everything you could ever imagine you need to operate a food establishment is found here, and it is not that expensive, unless you want to buy a deep fryer etc...We found a nice little coffee maker, so I have had a couple of tries...we also found some Illy coffee beans. At this point I am good at making cappuccino froth. But it is very nice to have a coffee smell in the house and now I can save so much on take away coffee and no more disposable cups!! After the coffee machine purchase, we headed to a very sweet handmade/handmade looking ceramics shop (of which there are many). Of course I needed a nice coffee cup didnt I? I didnt find the perfect one but I got a nice one. We were on the same side of town as my darlings work so we parked nearby and he took me to a lunch spot that he visited the day before and was so impressed he had to return today. It was so cool and definantly only the kind of place you can go to if you have someone show you what to do and some language skills. It is so busy they dont have time, or space, to fuss with a foreigner...anyways, a very, very small dark place with all the tables set with trays and full cups of barley tea. It was 5 to 12pm, so we got a seat and didnt have to line up, by 12pm it was full with 10 people in a line. My loved one was right when he said it is faster than McDonalds and 1 million times better. The speciality is fish, with rice and pickles. Very simple variations are available but it is a verbal menu and most people know what they want. I had the fish with miso flavour. It was so good, fish was fresh and flavour was beautiful. In less than 10-15 mins we were served, eaten and out. They even had all the change in piles as most meals are the same price ($8.80). It was such an awesome Japan experience. I drove home in Tokyo traffic quite enjoying it now. At home, I used to get such anxiety at merging or making a mistake as you get blasted or road raged, but here people let you in, move around parked taxis (which are everywhere) and just go about the job of driving without getting all mad. I was aiming to get home by 1pm to take Long Long to the vet to get his rabies shot, and I made it.
I was supposed to take him to the out door annual vaccination place but I was worried if he had a reaction I knew no vet to take him to. As it turns out there is vet about 10 steps away which is also a dog hotel...and he didnt get a reaction and got his nails cut for free!! Im so happy, I think he is too as he was very waggy tailed tonight!
So, the mooch had a good day with his buddies. I did manage to avoid another supermarket meltdown, which would have shattered a great day. He gave me two seconds warning and started the shrieking and yelling BEFORE I got in the door. Thank goodness. I turned around and walked home. It didnt matter that I needed to get stuff for dinner, I was able to avoid a hugely embarrassing and stressful situation. So, we had ramen noodles for dinner as there is a great shop, also 10 steps away!
20 April 2008
18 April 2008
16 April 2008
- a guy practising tap dancing on the boardwalk
- a couple practising juggling
- a couple practising some kind of routine with pretend swords
- a guy playing a very strange instrument
- a girl practicing her trumpet
- another girl practising her saxaphone (badly)
- more juggling and circus tricks
and things we would see at home, lots of love/couples, many dogs, drinking, eating, babies and mums, bird watchers, lots of homeless people getting warm...
For a private group of people, it is strange to see practicing things so publicly. My theory is that there is no room at home either physically or because the whole family is there so the park is the only place to be by yourself. It was great! We stopped and looked at a lot of these people doing things. It was like a free revolving concert. And of course we had to stop to pick up stones and dig in the dirt. My old buddy from Australia who I met in Japan a few years back came to see me today. It was so lovely to see her. After all this Aussie-ness this week I'm feeling a bit homesick.
The mooch has been a bit of a ratbag these past few weeks with lots of public screeching and crying, hard to take. I have even resorted to buying a couple of books on how to handle these situations. I used Baby Love a lot in the early days for its practical, no nonesense advice, so thought The Mighty Toddler will give me some heart in those tough times. But, just as I bought those books, he has come good. I think 5 teeth at once has something to do with it? The books will no doubt come out next week for some other reason.......I now say to him "Ma-Ma kiss kiss" and he leans his face towards me so I can give him a kiss. What a little moo.
How worried should I be that two guys were videoing/photographing (with a tripod) my front window today and slunk away when I came home and found them?
15 April 2008
My big loved one is back in Oz for a couple of days, my little loved one and the hairy loved one are here in Tokyo. We miss Ba-Ba, especially because he is at home where they make good coffee and eveything is familiar. He said it is not the same because we are not there and he doesnt have a home to go to.....but he will be home here soon bringing with him all the goodies I have ordered in a long list. Today I finally got my Japan licence, after two tries at the licencing office, and it didnt even involve a driving test! The whole thing is pretty crazy, after I submitted my paper 10 times after getting the stamps, eye test, photo, and other various things (all on different floors of the building) then I went to pick up the card, on yet another floor, and then got told it will take about another HOUR!! I had been waiting, this time for an hour already. BUT, I really needed it as I was driving only on my Oz licence which you shouldnt do and I was getting a bit paranoid I would get pulled up and then never get my Japan licence!! It is traffic safety week after all.....next thing is the rabies shot for Long Long. They have an annual session where you to go to the specified public place, out front of station, in a park etc and get the shot. It sounds very random to me, but Im sure it is very organised....and I started a new blog, because i take so many photos but dont always know what to say or think they are relevenat to the grassy garden. It has no words, kind of like a photo essay. Its here: one-second life
14 April 2008
We just hung around these very nice snow capped mountains and very clear lake over the weekend. I did not expect to have such beautiful nature so close to Tokyo. Well, Tokyo didnt feel too close on the way home...the drive is over 2 hours one way and although mooch is getting better in the car, he was well and truly over it by the time we got 3/4 home. Yes, you heard it correctly, 3/4...........so, we had a lot of screaming while we sat in the city traffic. Poor little mooch. It was so pretty in this area and we will go back and stay for a few days. I collected some bleached driftwood which I plan to make into some things. I wish I was very clever and could make some furniture as there was a lot of wood, but I am no good at that so I just got some sticks instead. Mini mooch just likes to pile up stones. He really likes stones. Big ones, small ones, rough and smooth. He likes to collect them, hold them or just move them around. He also likes to pour sand on his head.
10 April 2008
but before I go into that....this dude above was the guy who served me at the licencing place today. When you're sick you wear a surgical mask so you dont cough your goobies all over everyone. I think its a great idea especially on a packed train. Anyway, I have to get my Japan licence which involves a lot of running around just for a simple task. It is these kinds of things that after a while drives you completely mad. So, after a very intense one way discussion, that is, this guy above speaking in very fast Japanese, which I dont understand, except the sit down, sit down, bit. So, after an hour of waiting with 50 million others, knowing I still had to buy some stamps which prove you have paid the licence fee (from another window) then you submit again and wait again, then choose a pin number and submit and wait again.....and I didnt have a passport photo.....luckily my loved one was with me and found a manky one, a few years old in his wallet. I was sure I was going to get told I needed more stuff and I couldnt get it today.........so, then I get a call from daycare to say the mooch has just done some serious poopage and is in a bit of a screaming fit so I might want to come and get him. I KNOW he has 5 teeth coming through at the moment and is a little screecher, so not too surprised by the news but a bit worried. So I collected my 10 bits of information from the guy with the mask. I asked him if it was better to come first thing, he said yes, but they are always busy. I would think so with 50 million customers, 2 counter staff and 2 people processing the licences! We got stuck in serious traffic on the way to pick up the mooch but while on the way got another call to say he had fallen asleep. As it turns out I think they just were covering themselves coz he is fine. Before leaving the licencing place, I did get the stamps after I paid the fee and got a better photo, so I hope to bypass the system a bit and save some time. It also may be my downfall as I didnt follow the proper order....will keep you posted.
I said I may have stooped too low.....well, no one goes through the hard rubbish except the homeless people...and me. There are literally bags and bags of clothes and hard rubbish in the collection spots every week. There are no thrift/op shops so people throw their good stuff in the rubbish!! And , because everyone updates their things every season just about, there is a never ending collection of stuff. It would be so good to have some kind of collection of these things to then send to people who have no clothes. I did meddle with this idea in my last time in Japan...it was going to be the full time work of 10 people and thats just for a town of 4000. Imagine Tokyo....anyway, there was a great Japanese style coffee table, a low one, black laquer, not new but great for a making table with the mooch. I did a few laps, weighing up the options, and then, in the pouring typhoon rain, pushed the mooch in the pram with one hand and carried the rather large table back home. I have cleaned it up and it is great. I so think people saw me, so I am waiting for some back lash. My loved one said 'so youre bringing junk back home now?'...........but he hasnt seen it yet.....
7 April 2008
We have a big window in the staircase and I am trying to make it look a bit nicer as the days go by, so these cherryblossom themed garlands help...mini moo stuck coloured dots on odd ones for extra colour.
You can see the cherry blossom petals like snow on the ground. This is mid-egg and basket race...it wasnt going so well.......but it wasnt long until big smiles and funny noises were back on the agenda.
On another note, today I got my real Tokyo licence. The one you get just from experience. I drove on a couple of expressways, used our new toll card, which means you dont have to stop to pay the toll but you have to drive quite fast through the toll gate so no one hits you from behind...it is so cool, it is just like a credit card but you insert it into a slot in the glovebox. It is a much better idea than the big bulky e-tags at home. I can see why many poeple do not want to stick them to their windows. I also used the navigation system which is about 80% accurate so you still need an idea of where you are going (I didnt really). Mini moo came too so just us two made great progress. The only thing I am really bad at is merging, you have to do it fast and without hesitation. I did it very badly at first but then got the hang of it. It helps if you are bad but the car picks up fairly quickly....I did feel good when I got in the flow, even though I had been passed by about 10 cars. I was like the one at skipping rope just waiting to find the right time to jump in and start skipping...