Japan – Making New Friends

The night before!

The previous night I had a few things bugging me so I’d gone out to a small local bar on my own to just relax and knock back some whisky highballs (which came in really nice cups).  As it turns out though I found a decent quiet spot in the corner of bar counter and having learnt the Japanese for ‘one more please’, I ended up staying in till closing time………..whenever that was!

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The morning after

As a result of getting a bit carried away in the bar I woke up feeling quiet hung over and really, really in the need for food!

I wasn’t feeling particular great, I had a nose around the house to see what food there was for breakfast and nothing really took my fancy.  Heading out to the supermarket I found a cheap pack of microwave pizzas, from that moment on the only logical thing was buy the pack and bodge together a pizza cake!

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Now to be fair this wasn’t an actual pizza cake, more just three microwave pizzas stacked on each other with extra ham in between and microwaved all together at once to sort of melt into one three layered pizza.  But given the state I was in and the need for quick food this would have to suffice (it did taste good!)

Now for those who haven’t actually seen pizza cake please google image search it now and you’ll see much more spectacular results!

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To go with the food I’d also picked up a morning orange juice to go with my vending machine coffee, being Japan the bottle caps had fun little faces on to brighten up my day to!

Heading out

By mid morning I was fully awake and feeling much better, this was handy as I had arranged to meet someone for lunch.  We had been speaking through an app where you can talk to people wanting to learn or practice other languages, as it turns out I was the only native English speaker using the app in the whole of Shiga!

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On my way out I passed through one of the small parks and it was a wonderful sight as the Sakura on the trees was starting to fall like snow.  There was also a breeze swirling the leaves around in stunning patterns!

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I stood for a while just watching the Sakura fall down, I actually ended up with them all over me and had to brush myself down before leaving.

I carried on walking to where we had agreed to meet, I was there first, a bit nervous as I have never talked to random people on an app, or meet anyone from one for that matter! But this being Japan I figured it’d all be fine, and the idea was just to meet someone local where I could help with English and she could help me with Japanese.

A short while later she found me and we started walking and talking, we got to know each other and talked about why we were interested in the languages, her English was a lot better than my Japanese!

We went for lunch at a Japanese / Italian fusion food place which was really great, it was nice food, a great atmosphere and the place had a nice view out over Lake Biwa.  We spent most of the day talking before gradually walking back in the direction of our homes, which as it turns out weren’t that far apart.

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On the way back we passed a small shop, which I was told was a local famous sweet place.  We decided to go in as I’d never tried it before and though she had tried the sweet before, she hadn’t had them from here (where they are actually made).  We were led through the back of the store to a small quiet area with some tables made of tree trunks overlooking a small garden.  It was a really nice little place, and a great hidden room you wouldn’t realise the store even had unless you were here.

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We had a bit more time to chat before the shopkeeper brought out our dishes.  The sweets were mochi (a sort of rice cake sweet), which had been dusted in matcha (green tea) power, served with green tea, and a green tea broth.  I was warned not to laugh when eating the mochi as the power would go everywhere and apparently is really tough to get out of clothes and hair etc!

The stuff tasted great, the powder sort of fizzed a little and the broth was there to refresh between each sweet.  It was a great combination and some fun food.  After enjoying the food and garden we headed out and parted ways.

All in all a great day, I got to try fun new foods and made a new friend who I’m still in contact with.  And I have someone to help me with learning Japanese.

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