Akemashite Omedetou!

2017, hello, pleased to be here! Today was the start of a new year, which meant that it was also the start of a 3-day feast of traditional Japanese food neither okaa-san nor otou-san really care for. This ended up being a combination of fun veggies, chicken, fish and a few shrimp. To be more specific: burdock, lotus root, roeimo, carrots, chicken, shrimp, tamagoyaki, and ham, oddly enough. That tasted like home, Easter at my Nana White’s, specifically , which was oddly pleasant and nostalgic. That was followed by some of the mochi that we made yesterday, because there is so dang much of it. I had some kinako mochi and it was just as good today – Miao-chan tried to get in on it too.

After brunch we were all bums, just hanging around and enjoying the animals and free time. It wasn’t really until dinner that we all came together to hang out, at which point we resumed eating the traditional stuff (much to okaa-san’s dismay: she knows it’s coming, obviously, but it’s more obligation than anything). I enjoyed it again though, and we finished off with some more mochi. We even moved on to making matcha later, with okaa-san whipping out all the stops. W’re talking fancy tea okashi, the ceremonial stuff and instruction time for Liz. It was tough, but I think I remembered enough of it that I pleased both okaa-san and myself from sheer memory. She still helped a lot though.

Post-matcha fun okaa-san decided it was time for cards, so we whipped out hanafuda and went at it. It was fun since this time I’d forgotten how to score everything, so I kept having them tally for me at the end and we only announced the loser. It wasn’t me, most times. Yay for slight skill/mainly luck! During this I was also struck with a sudden craving for food, so I was chowing down on matcha granola and fruit yogurt during all of our matches. So of course they had me go first every time and mess up the flow as I focused more on my food. Thanks fam. Eventually otou-san called it quits and okaa-san was tired, so everyone retired to their room while I chilled out in the kitchen. About an hour later okaa-san wandered back out of her room to serve me up ‘real’ matcha ice cream, as in vanilla ice cream with her fancy matcha powder on top, and it was so good!

img_2889Okaa-san chilled with me a bit after that, and we got to lamenting her lack of study-abroad. Apparently her own mother was pretty strict, and she wasn’t allowed to go abroad or anything in college and it’s one of her biggest regrets. It makes me glad that she gets to travel so much now, even if it is a pretty different experience from going and living/studying in a foreign country. We also had a discussion of who’s good husband material form other countries (sorry Turkey and America, y’all weren’t hot on the list for okaa-san). She was so adamant about not-Americans, haha, it was fun.

Last of the night was a celebratory shot with the pops across the ocean, who called during cards but I mean hey, I was playing cards. Glad to be an adult now. Happy first day of 2017 everyone.

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