Yesterday was a public holiday here in Japan. So K and I both had the whole day off together, something very rare indeed. We splashed out and had lunch at Mamma Mary's, a slightly over priced chain Italian restaurant, which does serve nice food. We rocked up quite late for lunch about 2pm and they were full so we had to wait about 20 minutes. When we finally got a table, we were pleasantly surprised that we had our own "room". The people using the party rooms had all left so they started using them for regular customers and we were just lucky enough to get one which was fantastic as it was private and quiet, unlike the rest of the restaurant.
We came straight home afterwards as it was snowing harder and harder. We got home without any problems but when I looked out the window a few hours later everything was white.
This morning when we got up there was about 10 cm of snow, a record for this winter. Thankfully I don't have any work on outside of the house today so sloshing my way to the post box is as close as I need to get to the snow.
Now this Sunday is that very annoying little celebration called "Valentines Day". I personally hate valentines day. For those of you who do not know about the idiosyncrasies of Japan's version of Valentines Day, here it is.
Valentines Day is the day when females give males a present of (usually but not always) chocolate. This is not necessarily someone who is the love of your life. I have been made(by other female co-workers) to give my male co-workers chocolates on Valentines Day in the past, also called Girichoco, or a kind of "required chocolates" in Japanese. What annoys me is that I know there are many men in Japan who simply do not like sweet food or perhaps do not want to be seen as being a sissy and liking sweet food. So what's with the chocolate torture thing? For those who you know explicitly do not eat chocolate, there is always a tie or a pair of snazzy under pants. But the fact is that women all over Japan will be shopping for or even - wait for it - making their own chocolates (as in melting and putting it into molds kind of making) their own "hand made" chocolate.
Women do not receive anything on Valentines Day.
That happens about one month later on the skillfully thought up "White Day" on March 14th.
That is when men give women cookies/candy (not so much with the chocolate which most women love anyway?!?!) in return for the gifts they got on Valentines Day. So technically if you give 5 people some chocolates on Valentines Day, you can expect to get 5 gifts back on White Day as it is the done thing to give a gift back to those you have received one from. This (technically) ensures that no-ones feelings are hurt and that any romance is thoroughly sucked out of it.
So as usual I won't be doing anything for valentine's Day as my DH detests sweet food, I used to splash out on a bottle of wine for him so maybe I will buy him some beer... DH has also told me that if I want anything for Valentine's Day or White Day that it is "self service", which is how it is with birthdays and Christmas too. So maybe I will buy some nice chocolates for myself!