Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Squid Ink

This is Aya with pretty curled hair, we were getting ready to go to lunch with her parents. Her dad got home the night before, but I went to bed early because I was really really tired. It was a gorgeous sunny day.

Even though we've been driving around a lot, I'm still weirded out by the whole driving on the left side of the road thing. And on top of that, japan's roads are very narrow, and I always feel like we are going to crash into someone. So at first I kind of freaked out, but Ayako's parents are expert drivers, so I'm used to it now. :)

We went to lunch, and they brought us this dish, which at first I thought it was like blackberries or something. But can you guess what it is? It's squid in it's own ink. haha, I was so scared to try it, but I found it to be quite delicious. The only problem is that it turned our mouths black. haha.

For my main dish I ordered a delicious pasta with tomato sauce and bacon. mmm. It was delicious.

Then for dessert we had flan. yyummy. I'm pretty sure this blog is going to end up being mainly about food. haha.

Then Ayako and I took a train to downtown Gifu, where we were going to meet up with Aya's good friend, Yoshimi.
When we got there, Yoshimi was so cute and nice, and we walked around for a while.

While we were walking around, we came across this truck with people standing on the top, speaking into a microphone. Ayako said they are kind of like a crazy cult, and they were saying that we should keep russians out of Japan and stuff. We laughed at them and took pictures.
So we got to Mcdonalds, our destination, and it turned out the machine that makes mcflurries was broken. And the reason we wanted to go to Mcdonalds was the Mcflurries, because there are no Dairy Queens in Japan so Mcflurries are very popular.
So we decided to go find another Mcdonalds.

Here are some of the many cigarette vending machines available around the city.

Here is Yoshimi ad I posing for a picture with some weird blow up koala thing. haha.

On the way to Mcdonalds, we crossed a major street on this huge bridge structure. It was like a sidewalk infrastructure in the air. I was really excited about it. haha.

We finally got to Mcdonalds. They had a shrimp burger on the menu!!! I was freaked out. I'm going to have to try it sometime.

Yoshimi was a trooper! She ate a 2 mcflurries and finished mine off. haha she is so cute. I'm going to stay at her house for a few days while Ayako is away, and she says her mom is really excited. :) but she doesn't speak any english. haha.

This is random, but Ayako gave me one of her old phones and we got a prepaid card. Mine is the black one. Japanese phones, along with most other consumer products, are simply better than american products. They all have internet, and the pictures are really good for a phone. You can even take a picture of you and your friends, hold you phones close together, and send it to all of them. It's really awesome.

I thought this sign in the bathroom was funny. I imagine it reading "Don't neglect your baby while putting on makeup!!" I've seen these signs in a lot of public restrooms. At first I was like, why makeup? But I think that makeup is a more important thing for woman in Japan than in America. All their skincare and makeup products are wayyy better(I'm going to load up while I'm here).

Here is a random funny sign I saw.

So then we walked back and Ayako got a call from her friends, Shiho and Maki, to meet them at a Karaoke Bar. So we went there. It was super windy on the walk back, and we were able to lean all our weight into the wind and not fall over. it was crazy. Here is Yoshimi all bundled up. Yoshimi has many names for me, there is sarada, which means salad in Japanese, and Saranimi, like her name, Yoshimi. :)

So we got to the Karaoke Bar, and we hung out in the Lobby with Aya's friends. At Japanese Karaoke Bars, you sign up and then wait in a big room, and then when it's your turn you go into a smaller room with a karaoke machine. I don't know why, but I was picturing a bar with a karaoke machine, and you had to sing in front of everyone. Isn't that how it is in America? So I kind of didn't want to go. haha. We didn't go this time, but I was excited to try it in the future.

These are pictures of Downtown Gifu at Dusk. The restaurant we went to later was high up in that building, next to the billboards. The Loft is this huge store with tons of japanese makeup and skincare. I love it. :)

So we went to eat dinner at this restaurant with Aya's friends, Shiho and Maki. Shiho is a ballerina, and she looks like Lucy Lu. I told her that she does and she thinks so too, but that she is cuter. haha. And Maki is so funny, I had so much fun even though I didn't really understand what was going on. haha. Ayako would explain sometimes, but mostly I would just nod and laugh and smile. haha.
So after dinner we went to a night school to talk to friends, and I went to the bathroom. I was really tired, and I was looking for the flush button. There was a motion sensor thing, but that just made a flushing noise(japanese toilets have this because women would flush to cover up the sounds of their bodily functions, and it was wasting water). So I saw this red button and I hit it, and i soon realized what a huge mistake I had made when the fire alarm went off. hahahahahaha. I have to laugh about it so I don't cry. It was really bad, I was so mortified, and the police had to come, and I just like started sobbing. haha. It was pretty bad. But at least there weren't any classes going on at the time. It was so horrible, but I can laugh about it now.


  1. There was anti-Ruskie propaganda in Ukraine too.
    Maybe Ruby can shed some light on this phenomenon.
    I want to try squid ink--saw it on a Iron Chef episode--what did it taste like?
    Food plays a HUGE role in culture and experience. Let us know if we should send you or Aya anything you might be missing from the states.
    How's the language acquisition going?
    Wakarimasu ka?
    I love you --hugs to you and Aya.

  2. Wow - the black teeth remind me of the licorice ice cream in parkdale!
    The squid dish almost looks like torn up bicycle tires! haha

    I love the rustic table also!

    The Frys might be checking out this blog tonight!

    Love and miss you,


    P.S. Can't wait to talk to you!

  3. To Renee's Comment: It tasted weird, but mild, and I was expecting like super aggressive or salty flavor. I can't really explain it. sorry. haha.
    I'm actually surviving and coming along with the whole language thing. I've learned a lot, and I've been helping out in a 2nd grade class and I help teach english to them sometimes, but I learn more from them. They call me Sara-Sensei. haha. Love you

    To Mom's comment: I know it reminded me of the ice cream too! And which Frys? I love you

  4. Grandpa Fry has the jowls I am referring to. Great Grandma Fry had them too.

    I love the story about the fire alarm. I could easily see myself doing that!

    Have you ever flushed to cover up bodily sounds? Come on - I want to hear from everyone on this!!! I have...

    Love, Mom

  5. omigod, i can't believe the police came and..!jeez that definitely tops any study abroad story i've heard so far...excepting maybe anne-marie's eyebrows getting burned off while she tried to light the water heater in Mexico.
    shedding some light on the Russian situation in Ukraine- Russia/USSR has screwed over Ukraine historically with politically induced famine, swallowing it up as part of the Soviet Union, and in general just being an asshole (apologies for my personification and blatant generalizations....Russia and Japan have been squabbling about territory since the dawn of time...

  6. Thanks for the History Ruby, I never really know what's going on with international relations.
    Yeah its pretty emberassing... haha. But getting your eyebrows burnt off!!! omg that would suck..