Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A few thousand words

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but whoever said that has never seen a "photo" taken with my handy, post-modern uber cell phone from NTT Docomo.* It takes about a thousand words to explain to someone that, yes, the blurry smear there actually is a photo. Then you still have to explain what the glob is a photo of.

These two globs were taken Saturday at the Takashimaya in Futakotamagawa during the Special Days sale. They show an impossibility: People who do not like sweet foreign things standing in line to receive a box of Krispy Kreme donuts** which, the uninitiated might believe, are sweet foreign things. People standing in the long line (the line was doubled around) did not even receive the free donut that is usually handed out, so they were unable to eat it while commenting in utter surprise, "Oh, it's sweet!" before buying a dozen of the sweet donuts that they do not like.

Naturally, after writing a post about the "Foreigners love sweet food, but Japanese don't" scatology---Nihonjinron in Japanese---that's all I heard for the weekend. While going through a magazine article (which I had specially selected in part so that there could be no diversion into nihonjinron) with my Japanese tutor, she suddenly brought up her recent first experience with a Snickers bar which was so sweet it almost made her nauseous. "The caramel was so sweet!" she exclaimed. I, too, was flabbergasted that made-of-sugar caramel would be sweet!

Later that evening I had a little of the Yamanashi white wine she had given me. She, and several others, had recommended it as very good. Although the label promised that it was a dry wine (rated B with A being the driest and E being the sweetest) it tasted darn sweet to me. Had I not known that it was Japanese wine, I would have said that it was too sweet, reminiscent of sugar water.

As I often ask my wife, "If the Japanese do not like sweet things, then why do you like me?" Showing her true Japaneseness, she then denies that she does.

*Only 21 keystrokes per photo required to get it to my computer---not including those for taking them or entering data.
**Given to customers who had made purchases above a certain amount.

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