Have you ever done a favor for a friend? Getting mail, writing an email, perhaps going to their flower arranging lesson because they didn’t want to murder cut flowers for a pretty New Years arrangement? If you’ve done that last one then you would be me, and probably only me. Ah, today I woke up to the knowledge that I got to spend an hour with Saki-san making an arrangement on okaa-san’s behalf. Best friend favor ever. Okaa-san walked over to Saki-san’s with me before dumping me off to do some last-minute shopping. There we proceeded to make an arrangement that embodied the Japanese New Year, including a tall-reaching pine for longevity, plenty of green at the base for a full, fresh year and some other meaningful select flowers. Whether it was general praise or meaningful, Saki-san seemed very impressed with my free-styling at the end and I was willing to take it. Thanks girl, ya too kind.
Once we finished the arrangement we chatted over lavender tea and cookies her older sister had made a few days before, both of which were absolutely delicious! She showed me her favorite actor, who apparently no one knows since his latest drama was some midnight series based in Tokyo? I didn’t really get her explanation, but it’s okay. I felt her pain. She also showed me some gorgeous pictures from Okinawa, the fact that she saved our selfie from the last lesson (awww!) and a bunch of other fun things on her phone. When okaa-san joined us, it was with apologies and takoyaki. Please, if you bring me takoyaki you ever have to say sorry (note for the future, my friends). They got onto talking about their shared non-fondness for Japanese traditional New Year’s food and sexy actors, which okaa-san seemed all sly about. It was very cute.
After resting at home for a bit and finally clearing out my thousands of emails, man that is always so refreshing, I headed downtown to meet up with Lizzie and Steph. Well, I tried to, and I did eventually, but it wasn’t smooth sailing. I just missed all the buses by a minute, and had to wait to catch anything. The one I did get on ended up being the wrong one, so I got off after one stop and felt like a loser as I waited another 5 minutes for the right route. Then I had to run through all the dang flashing lights to make it to Teramachi in the time period still considered fashionably late, which meant that I was out of breath and super guilty as I arrived. Luckily Lizzie had just beaten me there, and Steph ended up not making it at all (day mess-ups, so fun aren’t they? I feel so hard for my parent’s no-cell phone gen for the whole of my stay in Japan/abroad) so I wasn’t really an ass. I just felt like one.
We meandered our way to the Animate store in the area, which I can’t believe I’ve always passed without noticing it. Work on your advertising friends! We probably spent over an hour in there admiring all the manga, merch and atmosphere before walking out with my precious, well-hunted-for Yuri On Ice magazine plus a mystery key chain that I completely forgot about until dinner*. Which was the next issue, since Lizzie and I didn’t want to go to the Chinese place without Steph. So we wandered around looking excitedly for the amazing Indian restaurant we’d been to ages ago, only to be disappointed. It was likely shut with a garage-style pull down door, but since there are no signs outside of the entry and that door, we’ll never know for sure. Of course that place was already a super hole in the wall, but we were really looking forward to it – so sad! Maybe I’ll make it before leaving Japan, but it’s okay if not. I’ve heard New Zealand does good Indian food.
After strolling through the streets dejectedly, finding the Chinese place and learning it was pretty out of our price range we were stumped. No wifi, no idea what to do and we weren’t in a crowded restaurant area. Until my phone magically got wifi thanks to the blessed bus wifi, which meant that I could google my beloved Avocado Mexican Restaurant! The two of us found it without a problem, and while waiting to get in I remembered my mystery key chain*. What could it be?! I opened it slowly, bated breath, the whole shebang . . . it was Phichit!!! My little Thai skating prince!!! Lemme tell y’all, I have sunk some serious coinage into the gosh dang mystery gatcha machines, baggies of merch, whatever hoping for this precious character. And at long last, even though he wasn’t advertised on the bag and therefore not an option as far as I knew, he came to me! I might’ve (not-so)-silent screamed. At the very least I entertained the hell outta Lizzie 🙂
We had a damn good time over quality guacamole, soul-melting cheesy shrimp and chicken enchiladas, and my main course, which was some mole sauce falling-apart chicken that I could die eating. Oh it was good. Plus I tried a fuzzy navel for the first time courtesy of Lizzie, which was way better than I expected. Yum! We also split a chocolate cake with ice cream, the rare whipped cream, skillfully sliced oranges and even some blueberries. Oh was that so worth every bite and dollar. I didn’t get home ’til about 11:45, but I had one of the most wonderful days and it was beyond worth the long wait for the bus. That’s all for now, looking forward to some sleep and some New Year’s prep for tomorrow. We’re making mochi! Have a great night and oyasuminasai!