colorful kyoto

26 11 2012

if the ents rise again, i’m fairly certain they’ll be fighting with the japanese.
look at the devotion supporting these trees.

@kyoto gosho, the imperial garden

foliage decorating a hollow trunk

coaxing entlets @shiramine shrine, the soccer shrine

what a gift to see this tree. i felt it bloomed just for me.

fiery maple and electric gingko outside chionin temple

“but only God can make a tree.”
nanny would have loved kyoto.

American Thanksgiving, pass it on

24 11 2012

‎Karl Rectanus suggested sharing American Thanksgiving. “it’s a tradition that travels well.” So my hashing, traveling friend Ate Ball said, “Happy Thanksgiving” to it turns out, the only other American in our Osaka hostel.

Here’s 18-yr-old Hector on his first backpacking trip before he heads back to Maryland next month to continue his electrical engineering studies.

This is the changing face of America–young, brown and international.
Hector 2032.

Chopsticks and congugation

25 03 2012

Thursday, we learned an entire grammar principle based on being indirect and politely declining or delivering a “no” without hurting the other person’s feelings. In my American mind, this grammar sounds ruder than directly saying,

“Hey, I’m meeting my brother to go to the movies. Catch you next week.”

But no, there’s an entire verb conjugation built around being round-about.

We also learned food customs this week. For example, in Korea—

  • don’t start eating before the eldest at the table begins
  • for sure, don’t leave your seat before that eldest finishes
  • use your chopsticks for side dishes and spoons for rice and soup
  • your soup sits to the right of your rice
  • lay your chopsticks to rest parallel to your body like this ||
  • don’t lift your bowl to your mouth = bad manners
  • with friends and family, share the gigantic plate of whatever you ordered. double-dipping’s no problem, though you might not do this the first time you meet someone

Half of our class are Japanese students. So we learned that in Japan, there is no double-dipping. “Ewww,” say the Japanese. (I like double-dipping.) And in Japan, by all means, lift your bowl to your mouth. It would be ruder to lower your head to your bowl on the table.

And different from Korea, lay your chopsticks to rest perpendicularly like this ==

Our Hong Kong classmate shared that in her region, you eat your soup before or after your meal not with, as in Korea.

Whatever you do while eating in east Asia, don’t stick your chopsticks straight up in your rice. That’s the food equivalent of saying “bloody mary” in front of your bathroom mirror.

Japanese snacks

28 11 2011

i’m here. sleep beckons.
here are some snacky foods from the layover in tokyo.

what do you think–like, dislike?

i can tell you sparkling soy water is not good.