The weather over the past couple weeks has been nuts — a couple weeks ago we had the biggest snow storm yet, which is still not a lot compared to VT standards but we had enough to stick for a few days.
It’s been bouncing around between cold and warmish, so we’ve already got some blossoms on the trees, and a week after the biggest snow of the year we’re having a week of solid rain.
In terms of work, this week has been a little crazy too. There was a big conference in Tokyo and Jen had to work late most nights. Last Friday we both went to an event where there were a collection of Japanese ex-ambassadors and other important figures, and man, was that one of the most awkward events I’ve ever been to. It would even have been easier if they hadn’t been so friendly, but they were trying very hard even though (among the wives at least) not many of them spoke english.
I discovered that I really don’t like Foie Gras, and watched a string if older Japanese ladies all stick some in their mouths, then try really hard not to make a face of disgust, which I would have had a lot more sympathy for had they not earlier urged me to eat something I thought was creme brulee and turned out to be a chunky fish custard with brown fish fat smeared across the top.
It was like one of those middle school dances where all the men stand on one side, and all the women on the other, and everybody chatters with people on their own side of the room. Except middle school plus raw fish, expensive fatty foods, and cross-cultural confusion. Now there’s a terrifying image for you.
This week has also been pretty shaky in terms of quakes, at least three 5+ pointers, and a lot of little ones. I find them unsettling more when they’re smaller and I can’t tell whether the earth is shaking or I just have low blood sugar. We have a big earthquake drill at the embassy next week too.
Oh, and my Japanese teacher emailed the class to tell them that my name means “codfish”. I’m not really sure why she felt that was necessary. She is going to find some clips of the Sazae-san children’s TV show that my name-sake Tara-chan is in, however, and use them in our Japanese class.
Today we went to the National Art Center Tokyo to see the 2012 Digital Media Festival, which was not only a fun exhibition, but the building is really cool. They had some awards for anime, which were pretty entertaining (some in a weird way, and some ones that I’d actually want to watch). One of the fun ones was an anime set in an old-folks-home, which is an unusual setting, but this was really cute.
We tried a couple new things this week in terms of food as well — we got stone bowls for bibimbap (korean vegetables, beef, and rice in a hot stone bowl so it gets crunchy on the bottom) and made it at home for the first time. It’s such a pretty dish, and actually really easy to make. The dish is really hot, so requires a metal gripper device to move it around, but it’s a fun addition to our repertoire.
And of course the oldy but goody Laedlein family tradition of Pizza Fridays!