God, what a long day. I'm frickin' exhausted. But then again, my day started at 5:30AM because my mom's stupid crackberry woke us up with its incessant vibrations. I seriously want to throw that stupid thing out the damn window because it ruins so many lives... Anyway, it was too early to go anywhere so I ended up eating a traditional Japanese breakfast of fish, okayuu (rice gruel), tsukemono (pickled veggies), miso soup, and melon juice courtesy of room service. It was pretty good! Mom had an omelette. Of course, she also had to have "just a bite" of my breakfast too... -___-;;
After that, we got ready to go out with mom's childhood friend, Atsuko. After a 2 hour period of watching some seriously weird Japanese music videos and commercials, I got dressed. Of course, what I was wearing wasn't satisfactory to my mother's standards which brings me to the subject of today's title...
According to my mother:
Japanese people don't wear short skirts, you need to change.
Japanese people don't wear sunglasses, they'll think you're... chotto...
Japanese people don't say what they're thinking, they just think it.
Japanese people don't eat things in one bite, will you slow down?
There were a few more, I feel like I should have written them down. Oh well! I guess I'll just have to treasure these gems.
Anyway, we finally got together with Atsuko and went to go see what my "dorm" is going to be like. Atsuko's navigation system took us on a very long detour though Tokyo to get to Azalea House in Nerima, where I'll be living. The room is small, but definitely livable. It comes with a mini-kitchen, bathroom and lots of storage. The best part? NO ROOMMATE! WOO! The manager of the building told us that there aren't too many Japanese people that stay in Azalea (Japanese people don't do that I guess...). The residents there are mostly international students from a bunch of different schools like Keio and Waseda, not just Sophia like me. It looked like the place could house about 40 girls so I know I won't be lonely!
Here are some pics of the room:
We were able to get some house supplies and other essentials with Atsuko at this store called LIFE. I seriously can't think of a more appropriate name for it-- it had everything!! It was like a Japanese Target or something... Then we went out for lunch and tried to activate a cell phone for me to use. Unfortunately, the one we bought about 5 years ago is obsolete now (as can be expected) so I'll be out of touch for a while. I could use my American phone to call people-- but it'll cost $2 a minute O_O
After that slight disappointment, we headed back to our hotel to meet up with mom's friend, Miyoko, a Japanese interpreter she had met on her last business trip. She is a character. She is probably about 5 feet tall with burgundy-colored hair. She wore a purple dress with purple tights. She decided to take us to this really nice Japanese-style Korean BBQ place in Roppongi called Ushi no Kura. Apparently a lot of celebrities like Amuro Namie like to go there. I can see why! Each grill has its own private booth-- very nice for people who like to get drunk discreetly... which is exactly what we did.
It was FANTASTIC. Miyoko-san insisted that we start the evening off with champagne, which we happily agreed to. Then we had a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, followed by another bottle of cabernet sauvignon. The conversation was colorful, to be sure. It was full of, "Oh my God-- I love your mom." and "You are sooooo beautiful. You are both sooooo beautiful!" Towards the end, Miyoko-san had invited us to her mother's tea ceremony in Nerima about 10 times... "You don't have to go... you should go! But you really don't have to!" we didn't go this morning because she probably doesn't remember doing it!!
The colorful conversation only added to what was undoubtedly the best meal I've had in my entire life. We started off with various kimchi and then Miyoko asked us quite casually, "Do you eat organs?" So we had liver too! I've only seen liver in chemistry class and never thought it would be appetizing, especially eating it raw the way we did, but it was... amazing.
You can see the liver on the left, and some kimchi on the right.
Here's some other Korean-style pickled stuff: mushrooms, daikon, and beansprouts. Don't remember what the green stuff is, but it was good too!
I'm sad I only remembered to take pictures of this after we had eaten half of it, but it was deep fried kamaboko (fish paste) with sweet potatoes and shishito (the pepper-looking thing). It came with a sweet brown sauce that made it taste like heaven.
But the most delicious thing by FAR was this beef sashimi we had. OMG. It melted in my mouth!! Miyoko-san was so fabulous, she insisted we get another one. She had reserved it in advance because it's so damn popular!
I would have taken a picture of the restaurant, but I had to make sure the three of us got home safely... my mom fell asleep in the cab on the ride home.