Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Fun while it lasted...........

All down hill from here!

I hate the week after new years. You get spoiled by all the time off during the holidays and then when it comes time to actually get back to work-the motivation just doesn't seem to be there. Plus even when you are at work during the holidays, not that much happens-which means this week is doubly hard as everyone tries to catch up.

Plus for the 4th year in a row, I did not win 3 billion yen in the Takuji (lottery). I thought for sure this would be my year!

Japundit has a great post up describing the Japanese approach to New Years. Its right on the mark especially when he points out the ordeal that is the Red and White show:

But, if you desire real boredom and drudgery, by all means enjoy a traditional Japanese New Year. The year can begin, or end, with making mochi. You know, taking perfectly good rice and pounding it into a highly dense and weighty blob that is the culinary equivalent of a black hole. It is a well-known fact that, if elderly Japanese didn’t choke to death on mochi, the lifespan in Japan would be well into 15 decades. And that might start people talking, which for Japanese is worse than death. Assuming you survive the mochi and its manufacture, you will have the privilege of enjoying New Year’s Japanese style, which, for a foreigner, can only be achieved through in-laws or trusted friends. You will visit their home, have a splendid meal, and then, as the evening really gets into gear, you will all sit down and watch TV. Not just TV, but NHK TV. That means no tits. (Except this year, when there appeared to be tits, but they were just tightly fitting t-shirts).

I am scooting out early this evening with the S.O. to do another part of that which is new years in Japan-hunt for Fukubukuro. 福袋. (Lucky Bag).

When the deparment stores reopen after the holiday, usually on the 2nd or 3rd, they will have out sealed bags for sale, usually in increments of 3, 5, 10, and 20 thousand yen. (30, 50, 100, and 200 dollars about...). Inside will be a mix of items, the type of which will depend on what type of store you are in. However its not really a secret, since the big stores will have published the contents in their ads in the Saturday paper. Sometimes it is a good deal, often times it is just a way for the stores to clear out excess inventory. Golf stores never seem to have lucky bags for some reason so I generally go for the clothing places where I can get a windbreaker or sweat suit or something similar. You have to be careful choosing though its easy to get suckered:

(The sales clerk on the left is saying that the bag is 5000 yen, but its contents are equivelant to 50-80000-the guy on the right is just laughing).

And of course the other great things is that no one else is out shopping with you. (NOT!)

Once more into the breach!


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