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Month: November 2014

The deep-fried diaries

The deep-fried diaries

Before you go on holiday in – or rather, from – Japan, your friends and relatives will typically ask you these two questions: 1) What do you want to eat in England / North Korea / Swaziland? 2) What Japanese food will do you think you’ll miss when you’re in England / North Korea / Swaziland? And when you get back from your holiday, they will ask you these two questions: 1) What did you eat in England / North…

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Wrong Way Round – Day 9

Wrong Way Round – Day 9

Day 9 – Akkeshi to Nemuro City (厚岸 – 根室市) – 106km ‘There aren’t any shops on the coast road, you know,’ said the old lady at the youth hostel. ‘So I made you these.’Refusing to accept any money, she presented me with a packed lunch of two grapefruit-sized nigiri (rice balls).‘I hope you’ve got some sun block.’‘Don’t worry,’ I said. ‘I’ve put it on already,’ and thought as she waved me off that while she may not have been…

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Wrong Way Round – Day 33

Wrong Way Round – Day 33

Hakodate – Oshamambé  (函館 – 長万部) – 122km Sleeping on the futon next to mine at the Limelight rider house was Mr Mountain Field, a seventy-two year old with a ZZ Top beard whose – possibly self-coined – nickname was sen-nin (仙人 / Buddhist hermit). ‘My wife and I run our own rider house down near Nagoya,’ he told me. ‘Our water comes straight from a mountain spring and we’ve even got a goémon-buro. You should come and stay some…

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Washing machine 洗濯機

Washing machine 洗濯機

Back in the days when I was still a bachelor, I would do the laundry as little as was humanly possible – ie. about once a fortnight for clothes and once a month for hand towels, tea towels and so on. Like her mum, however – and particularly now that we’re a family of three – Mrs M does a truly heroic amount of washing. She claims – with some justification, it has to be said – that my bath…

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