Sunday, March 26, 2006

Gullible Gaijin

Sometime you are duped into believing that there are new flavours to be found in chocolate. That's what pulled me into the oldest gimmick in the book: display something cool-looking at the checkout counter.

I was getting out my groceries at the Chinese market when I saw this cool-looking package. Most of it was in no language I could decipher. The English promised "Only Hokkaido Taste", the charmingly silly English side bars on the cover talked of nature, in the middle of said silly English was a roaring bear, a symbol of the Ainu people. I was intrigued. I wondered what Hokkaido chocolate tasted like. I pondered if it was some exotic addition like black sesame or even seaweed! The cartooned picture on the back seemed to promise a chocolate with little black dots. I even dang-well saved it to eat up north, prolonging my investigation.

I shouldn't have bothered. It was chocolate with toffee bits in it. I ate the first half of the bar trying to strain my tastebuds to taste something exotic and the last half in emotional misery at being suckered in. Not that I didn't enjoy the chocolate but I'd been so looking forward to trying something unique, something foreign. Maybe next time I'll try the grass jelly drink or the canned silkworm pupae. At least I KNOW I haven't had that.

PS: I have a new daily photoblog you might want to have a gander at

Later note: My apologies to those who tried to use the address I gave above for my photo blog. I switched a couple of letters that didn't capture my eye for a couple of days. I guess I must be more tired these days than I thought.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

A candle lit for her...

Life loses its flavour when you lose someone dear to your heart. I'm sorry it has been so long since my last post.
It all started with not being able to taste anything and having no energy. A virus hit our school and town with a vengeance. Just when things were looking up and health was returning, Life dealt my beloved Ben and I another blow. My mother-in-law passed away a week and a half ago after a long illness. It has been a rough time emotionally for Ben and I've focussed a lot of time on his well-being since he couldn't go home to France for the funeral.

Ben's mother spoke very little English and my conversational French still suffers horribly but during the last five years of knowing each other we found our ways to communicate. The heart knows what the tongue cannot speak. I will cherish the memories I have of her and it hurts knowing there will be no more. I know she considered me the daughter she never had so I will do my best to make her proud of me no matter from where she watches my progress.

Please excuse my somber mood. I just wanted to let you who come here know why I have been so quiet.