Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Season's Greetings to all

I have not been writing for a while, sorry for that, but I actually thought there is not much to write anyway.

So here is a short Stano News: 
I had a little concert in my boss’s restaurant; it was great I played on congas with his band too. It was cooooooool. We played some Hawaiian music and jazz standards. 

Also me and my classmates, we were invited by one of our teachers to Yokohama’s China town. We ate soooo much of Chinese cuisine there and of course had to drink a lot of beer too. But luckily for me, I was saved by a classical concert in which Mitsuyo’s younger sister performed too, so I left earlier. Lucky me. It was the same day and also in Yokohama, not far away from the China town. The performance was nice. The orchestra played composition by Mahler and Brahms. 

 with classmates in Chinatown

After the concert we have been invited by Mitsuyo’s parents to restaurant for dinner. And I was back in china town, having more of their famous cuisine. Later on they told me, that I am eating a shark. So I was very surprised. Cause I remembered a documentary about how they catch sharks and actually it is very sad. Human beings can be very cruel. The part of shark used for cooking is only a very small part of the animals body. And most of the time they don’t even kill the shark, just cut its fin alive and throw it back to the sea. So when eating, all the images came back and made me sad. Forgive us dear sharks, for how we treat you. Humanity is still so immature.

Last weekend we climbed a lovely hill called 大山。(big mountain). Really nice view from the top, there was a lovely temple as well. That hill is very famous for its tofu and little wooden toys for spinning. I thing that in English they are called the spinning tops. 

 on the way to 大山

 view from the top

     Well, and that is about all from the interesting things that happened since I wrote last time. Oh.. and one more. Few weeks ago we started an Intermediate level in Japanese language. So I am quite happy that the progress is so quick. But I must say, it is still hard, new grammar, billions of new vocabulary and we finally started the Japanese kanji (Chinese characters), scary stuff.

The Christmas time:
Now the Christmas season is here and finally, probably first time in my life, it was peaceful, without any stress and anybody fighting in shops or on the streets. 

Actually there is not such a thing as Christmas here. They love the flashing lights, Christmas tree and the decorations on the streets and in shops. But it is not the same as in Europe. They love the romance of it. Also very popular is a Christmas cake. That is a nice soft sponge with lot of cream and of course strawberries. Cream and strawberries… always, everywhere, all the time, every celebration – same cake…… interesting… 

The Christmas here feels actually like a Valentine’s Day. Nice, romantic evening for lovers with the flashing lights on the small Christmas tree, having dinner and cake and exchanging presents between each other, pure Valentine’s Day.
On the other hand, they have the New Year as the main event of the year. So far I only heard about it, but soon I will experience it, so later I will write about it. It is the time when families get together and welcome the New Year together, eating a lot and drinking a bit too. (just like the Christmas in Europe)

Anyway I will write about it later. But there is one interesting thing I heard about the New Year. Long, long time ago, the New Year’s Day, was a day when everybody celebrated birthdays in Japan. I love it. I must have been Japanese in previous lifetime, because I never remember the dates and always forget about it and that upsets people. Now I have a nice story to tell and excuse for it too…

This Christmas I tried to make nice romantic dinner for Mitsuyo. So I cooked the full Slovakian Christmas dinner. That is sour cabbage soup, fish with potato salad and also we baked with Mitsuyo some cakes too. 
Of course the ingredients for the European food are hard to find. And if you find here something, it is so expensive, that it actually hurts. If you can find here something from Europe, it will be countries like France, UK, Spain or Italy. But Slovakia…. They never even heard about such a country. So it is actually impossible to find anything. So the sour cabbage soup, had very different taste, but we managed to eat it, with a sour face. And the fish, they have not such a fish here, but we bought some sea fish with name I don’t remember, and it was actually nice taste, maybe even nicer than Slovakian fish. And the potato salad was delicious, almost like made by my father every year. 
And the cakes, we gave them to many people as a present, and we had only a good response. We liked them too, and actually they were so delicious that we had to bake the same type of cakes 3 times in a week. I am thinking about opening a shop soon… 

Well and tomorrow we are going to Mitsuyo’s parents’ house for the お正月 (New Year’s day celebration). We will be there for few days. So I am sure I will have a lot to write after I came back. 

Wish you all Happy New Year 2012. 
May only happiness overflows your minds.