Wish upon TWO stars

July 29, 2008

Some weeks ago, there was a festival called Tanabata (七夕): On that day, two stars (Vega and Altair) which are separated by the Milky Way all year long, meet. Of course, there exist a sentimental story behind this festival, of two lovers being allowed to reunite. The important thing, however, is that making a wish upon two stars increases your chances twofold. ^_^
During this festival, people write their wishes on colorful paper slips and place them on one of these young bamboo stalks that are on display at supermarkets, city offices and other public places. Of course, I did it, too … and, though I’m not 100% sure, I think my wish might have come true.

Since I don’t have any other Tanabata pictures, let’s continue today’s post with some more daily life impressions. In the second photo, you can see a cool machine at a supermarket: Having bought frozen stuff, you can put your bag inside, close the door, and it will be flooded with an icy steam, leaving dry ice inside of the bag. Not a bad idea, really.

Next, you see a rather typical view: When using an escalator, you’re supposed to stay on the left side, so that people in a hurry can pass on the right (it’s reversed in Kansai area though). Somehow, this view always amuses me, although it actually makes sense.

Then, there’s a different kind of paper slip: You remember me telling about getting this type of notification (a warning, really) when miss-parking your bicycle? Well, this person seems to collect them.

People here sometimes make fun of foreigners who wear T-shirts and stuff, with Kanji printed on them, without knowing the meaning, just because they supposedly “look cool”. However, it’s totally true vice versa, too: You often see shirts with strange, nonsense-English around here; and English printed on signs is quite often pretty funny, too, as you can see in the fifth picture.
(Some weeks ago even a person from my lab wore a shirt with two kanji, one of them of unknown meaning to him – despite being Japanese. Now, that was amusing! Of course, I did my best to make fun of him.)

Followed by some pictures from the Botanical Garden in Tsukuba, there are two of Okonomiyaki, as it should be (taken at a nice restaurant in Osaka). I hope you do remember me mentioning Okonomiyaki in my last post, right? It’s topped with flakes of dried fish (which seem to squirm on the hot dough), and can be rounded off with several sauces and other toppings at the table. Not the most sophisticated food, but pretty tasty and enjoyable.

Well, that’s it for today. I’m afraid this post was written in a bit of a hurry, since I’ll be away at a symposium this week (I just hope the function of posting the entry at a specific date works). Stay tuned for the next post.


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