Today I didn’t feel very productive, but I did get my account with Yamato Transport established and I got a confirmation on an appointment with a soap company I’m very interested in buying from.
Other than that, I sent out a few inquiries and replied to a few other messages. My major accomplishment was taking care of a couple of loads of laundry and initiating some packing; tomorrow I need to move some of my belongings to a temporary storage place; lugging my larger suitcase, now full of product samples and literature, to Osaka for a few days starting Sunday, is not my idea of fun..
Lunch was leftover baguette from breakfast, with lettuce and some relatively cheap (for Japan) Brie. Actually I really wish I wasn’t closer to department stores than to a known grocery store, because for one thing department store foods start out more expensive, and they tend to offer more western foods.
I’m perfectly capable of cooking with Japanese ingredients, but collecting them at department stores is often far more expensive than I’d like. Of course, somehow, everything that I cook here tastes more Japanese than European or American, but I think that’s mostly a matter of scale. I decorate small plates of vegetables with a little cheese… or I cook one medium potato, one carrot, and half an onion, using whatever seasoning is convenient, and I serve it to two people as one of three simple dishes, rather than buying a mess of potatoes, a bunch of carrots, and a ton of onions and garlic and turning it into a huge mass of home fries or Bratkartoffel.
Dinner was, in fact, such a potato dish, plus a dish of seasoned soybeans, blanched greens and half an onion, and a sample of udon from the FoodEx show I have been refrigerating since last week. The udon were unusual because they are made with sato-imo (small taro-like roots) and yamaimo (a starchy tuber). The udon noodles are quite nice; the included tsuyu, or dipping sauce, is overly sweet, even though the packaging recommends using the tsuyu as is, undiluted. We switch to a bottled tsuyu that Hiromi bought last week, which was much less cloying.
The afternoon was fairly cold and windy, although out my window everything appeared sunny and pleasant. I went out for tea in the afternoon, walking as quickly as possible to escape the weather. Apparently someone else had the same idea... I noticed a woman who had fallen asleep in one of the comfortable chairs, oblivious to a half-consumed latte.
Tonight after dinner I had the surreal experience of watching on TV a Japanese reprisal of “Bewitched,” this time set in 2004 Japan, but with the same basic storyline. This episode is when the Japanese equivalent of Darren inevitably discovers that his daughter has magical powers, around the time that he brings his ad agency boss and some clients to his unbelievably large Japanese condo. It’s amusing to see this very sixties-style show re-enacted with 2004 Japanese fashion sensibilities, but fortunately, the mother-in-law with the funky hairstyle is dutifully preserved.