Sunday, January 15, 2006

Taking a raincheck...

Well unfortunately for my skiing aspirations for this weekend a rather large amount of rain drenched Kanto and Tohoku on Saturday, meaning that conditions at Alts Bandai tomorrow wouldn't be worth the drive out. While the temperature is now dropping back down to seasonal averages after a spate of avalanches in Niigata and Nagano prefectures, this merely means that the wet snow of yesterday and today is becoming the hard packed groomed crap of tomorrow. We are thus redirecting our skiing efforts to next Sunday.

Today was a fantastic day. Started out with my first Subway sandwich in Japan...

I had the Chicken Teriyaki, and while it was ok, it could have been better.

I was surprised that they don't have the "toasted sub" option out here... something which Subway came out with after Quiznos' amazing toasted subs took a bite out of their market. China's Subway had it... I've now enjoyed Subway sandwiches in Canada, the US, China and Japan.

After the sub, we headed over to Calmare, a supposed Gyoza lover's paradise if you believe the flyers which were flying around when it first came out.

While I will admit that the selection of Gyoza was quite impressive in the area dedicated to it, and the Gyoza museum section was interesting, most of the first floor is taken up by a Pachinko Parlour belching out clouds of smoke and deafening noise every time the automatic doors open. The second floor is a game center with everything from bowling and billiards to basketball and golf. We did have fun trying to figure out the picture machines which are so popular with High School girls and I now have some pictures of us with computer generated hearts and stars all over them... lol I guess the whole idea behind this building is that a Pachinko loving man can come here to spend some quality time with his family... enjoying a few quick gyoza before sending the wife upstairs to the games center with the kiddies so he can get down to the slots, drink some coffee, smoke some cigarettes and lose some money. Rather sad group of people we saw in there today, not one man upstairs in the games section enjoying sports with his kids... This reminds me of another sad situation I witnessed this week. When Alex and I were having lunch at Praktica on Tuesday? Wednesday? there was a couple having lunch there at the same time as us. They didn't talk much during lunch, and when they were finished eating, the man took out a gameboy and started playing while his girlfriend sat there and stared at him... what a loving relationship.

We then headed home and popped in a great foreign film called "L'auberge espagnole" (The Spanish Apartment) which was quite enjoyeable. While I'd say a good third of the dialogue was in Spanish, of which I have only a very basic grasp, the rest was mostly French. It's an interesting story about a young man who leaves his girlfriend behind in Paris to spend one year studying in Barcelona. He moves into an apartment with an ecclectic and international bunch of people and the experiences they share are quite entertaining and throught provoking. To take the movie at it's word, Europeans are cheating on each other at an alarming rate and the victim-spouse either doesn't care or doesn't know due to machinations by those in the couple's entourage. Great movie if you happen to spot it on the shelf somewhere.

Skiing tomorrow may have been replaced by lunch at the Temple... if I feel up to it when I wake up.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Michel. Too bad you are not going skiing. Some of my friends couldn't go for the same reason. There used to be Quizno's here, but I am not sure how they fared in the marketplace here. I do miss that toasted option...

I saw the Spanish Apartment myself. The sequel recently came out...'Russian Dolls' was the title. Could be wrong, though. At any rate, I saw it and was a good follow up to the original.

Say hello to Alex and Scotto...

1:30 AM  

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