Rewind to Japan - Christmas timeI had been in Japan for 2 months and loving the Japan experience. Exploring during the day, sampling the local delicacies during the evening and partying on the weekends. Due to technological advances I.E Facebook and Skype, I didn't really feel that far from home - I was enjoying the best of both worlds.. until Christmas day. Don get me wrong I had a decent Christmas but a few things hit home. It was my first Christmas away from home. The nearest I had was my surprise adventure to Qatar but I left the day after boxing day and spent New Years there. Not only was it my first Christmas abroad it was my first away from my immediate family. It was a milestone in the life of Only D Brave but tinged with sadness. It really put into perspective how important that time of the year is for family for all those who celebrate it (the religious and/or the commercial Christmas)
I attended free weekly Japanese lessons every Saturday with Hiwot. Half way through our Japanese lesson on the 18th of December, my Japanese teacher said next "Saturday we will go through Katakana with you Dennis". I laughed and said "but its Christmas day", she smiled back and said "indeed it is". We both had a chuckle. At the end of the day sensei said see you next Saturday I laughed again turned to Hiwot expecting her to be laughing with me - there was no laughter. Hiwot looked at me and said "Sensei is serious, Christmas is just another day over here." Hmmmm......
Hiwot was right, it was just another day! It kicked off with midnight mass at the local Church. Service was a mixture of English and Japanese with a kids nativity play sandwiched in between. im not sure kids were doing up at such hour but kudos for performing way past their bedtime. After Mass I hotfooted home (possibly stopping off at a late night Ramen for an Christmas snack) and headed off to bed.
Christmas morning! Woke up and made my way to class. I was expecting to see the streets empty - it was packed, even more packed then a normal Saturday. This was so surreal! Barely anything is open at Christmas at London town but here in Japan it was just an ordinary day.
|Its Christmas... but its so normal|
Japanese lesson I actually was being taught Katakana. Katakana is one of the three alphabets of Japan. Its phonetic so onces you know the symbols it is basically say what you see. It is usually used to describe words that are imported from foreign countries to Japan such as "McDonalds" " Coca-Cola" It wasn't sinking in though, i was still a little shocked that everything was business as usual here.
Christmas Finger Licking
After Japanese lessons I went searching for the local KFC. Word around the campfire is that you could get a proper Christmas dinner, like roast Chicken and the trimmings KFC... I had to find out if this was true or just another urban myth.
Got to the KFC and lo and behold it was true! You could get a roast chicken on Christmas day at KFC. Unbeknownst to I, it was a very Japanese thing to hit the colonel sanders stores at Christmas eve and Christmas Day for a KFC sponsored Christmas meal. Alas I didnt go for the roast, it had to be preordered and it cost £20. I'm ok spending up to a tenner one fast food meal for myself but £20? My wallet and my stomach says no. Instead I settled for a Chiken Cur ri Po to pi i (Chicken Curry pot pie) Ho ho ho merry Christmas!
Japanese Word of the day - Are - That