Christmas in Japan

So Christmas Eve was spent doing my usual last minute Christmas shop, but it seemed very different this year. Obviously I was in a new country and so things would inevitably be different, but what struck me was the fact that people weren’t fighting each other to get that last toy on the shelf, or turkey in the freezer. It was pleasant. Though the gifts I’m sending home won’t get there before new year (and probably my older sisters birthday … crud, forgot about that), I did manage to finally get some postcards sent. It’s definately an interesting feeling going to the Post Office on Christmas Eve.

I spent Christmas Eve night in my favourite (aka cheapest) bar, the 280 place. That isn’t it’s real name, but I tend to forget it’s real name everytime I go to say it and make something up for it instead. Ironically that’s how I get by in a lot of the Japanese I speak; if I don’t know a word, I make one up and occaisionally I get lucky. I was quite gutted at the fact that I couldn’t seem to drink two giant beers as I normally would, but I’ll put that down to the slight cold I’ve got.

On Christmas Day I woke up bright and early (7.30) and went down for some breakfast. After which I then proceeded straight back to bed. Oh the life of a single man is truly a tough one. Emerging from my pit I did a ring around (via text message) to see who else fancied a traditional Japanese Christmas lunch at KFC. No, I’m sorry, I still can’t type that (let alone say it) with a perfectly straight face. Anywho, moving on.

Three of us in total went into Umeda to get some chicken and share the season with one another. I also took the opportunity to try something American that KFC served, a biscuit.

Now don’t start lighting pitchforks declaring the only true biscuit is along the lines of a Rich Tea, Custard Cream, or the debatable Jaffa Cake. What the Americans consider to be a biscuit is totally different. It’s like a Jamaican fried dumpling, only lighter and less crispy. Why they’re called this I have no idea, and why Japan’s KFC has one with a hole in the middle stumped my one friend, but tastewise they’re really not bad. KFC also gave us some maple syrup with the American biscuit (which again confused my one friend) but we tried an experiment.

Ladies and gentlemen boys and girls. Maple syrup goes amazingly on KFC’s chicken. Yes that’s right, we’ve found a way to give it even more calories and even more flavour. Don’t believe me? To be honest I don’t blame you. From the sounds of it you’d think we were drunk and had nothing better to do. Well, we weren’t drunk that’s for certain. It’s the kind of flavour that you’ll either enjoy or dislike. It’s not as comparable as the love it-hate it relationship which Marmite (hate it) has, but it’s probably not for everyone.

After saying goodbye to one friend, off to get his hair cut, my other friend headed off to The Room of Living Dolls. He hadn’t seen it, and I wanted to see it with my eyes open. It was while we were waiting in the queue we realised something that had been muttered to us earlier. Christmas in Japan was more a time for couples, especially young couples, and as we looked around all we could see were couples holding hands or being romanticy (probably not a real word). Here were were, two foreign men with identical hair (mine being a lot shorter) going to one of the scariest attractions in Osaka. I’m pretty sure we recieved a few unheard comments.

Christmas dinner was an amazing curry, but I felt I loaded my plate too high as it took me around 50 minutes to get through the whole thing. I’m not going to say it’s better than Christmas dinner would have been at home, but it was definately comparable.

Which brings me to Boxing Day … that’s it. With the exception of making a new forum for the guys who’re studying at Konan, I’ve slept most of the day away. I wish I could have more exciting things to bang on about … but really, that’s all. So here’s a video explaining how takoyaki is made from Cooking With Dog!

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