Castle + Kirin = Contented Canadian

Our story starts a long time ago; last Thursday evening to be precise (which was late Wednesday night for all you bums on Pacific Standard Time). The main characters are: an unselfish Japanese lady named Mayumi, a selfish Japanese girl named Hana, and an unsuspecting Canadian man named Michael, freshly returned from a very inspiring (Canadian) English class which included words like “yeah”, “emu” and “bender”. It’s 9:00 at night, and our characters are very hungry. Following their nose(s), they are led to a quaint little restaurant named “Bibinya” (which looks rather different in Japanese characters, but we’ll let it go). Bibinya serves raw meat. In the middle of the table is a burner, so you can cook your raw meat to whatever texture/temperature you desire. Included in the menu are many strange and wondrous raw animal concoctions, including cow intestine, tongue, and stomach lining. Also included is a delicious sake, served overflowing in a wooden box. Now, in all honesty, I, Michael, the lead character, am not one much for sake. I’m not going to lie and say that I don’t drink it whenever it’s put in front of me, but I certainly don’t rush out to buy refills; my money is fervently saved for Kirin Whiskey. But this sake…mmmmmmmmmm.

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Next, we skip chapters to Saturday morning. Character switch: Fish-head-eating Japanese guy (aka Toshi) replaces selfish Japanese girl (aka Hana). Our Saturday Chapter begins with our 3 characters bussling into the car at 11:00 Saturday morning (Friday afternoon for those of us on PST). In case you were unaware, “bussle” is an english word, still used by geeks and really old people, which means “to move hurriedly”. After a quick stop by the beach and a few random,  “Oh what a beautiful day it is today” pics, our hero poses with a rather large palm tree.

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Shortly thereafter, all 3 of our characters stop for lunch. Mayumi goes for the Tempura, Michael opts for the Chicken Nanban (Japanese equivalent to fish’n’chips, but with really good fish), and Toshi, crazy %#$*&%, orders the Fish head. 10 minutes later, the meals arrive. Upon Toshi’s meal placement, I am immediately reminded of Jason’s final project in Fish Anatomy 401 last semester: the reconstruction of a fish skull. Well Jason, I made sure to pack up the bones after lunch so you can expect a package in the mail in 4-6 weeks. Once you get past the odour, I’m sure you’ll have no problems identifying the fish species and genus. I hope the new fish head project takes your mind off the rigorous tasks of marriage preparation, and give’s Colonel Mustard a worthy adversary…this pic’s for you pal (and yes, that’s the eyeball at the top)…

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Next up is a stop at Obi Castle, a large 500-year-old walled castle area in a little town to the South. As you can see, the entrance and doorways aren’t exactly made with Westerners in mind, perhaps part of the internal defence.

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In the midst of the walled fortress was a museum with samurai armour and such, complete with a “weapon wall” that makes mine look like a utensil rack.

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And after all that build-up to war, we had a chance for some archery practice, just to ensure I keep the touch. I don’t have any pics of me shooting, unfortunately, cuz I was too damn busy getting bullseyes, but I did get a quick pic of the instructor holding my deadly bow:

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Feb 20 update: 2 more pics added: 

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Upon completion of numerous bullseyes, it was time to head for home. Thanks to the recent English class, I finally had the money to buy my second bottle of Kirin 50% whiskey, which I am presently enjoying immensely…  

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So if I seem a tad dreamy, you’ll have to forgive me. I have no deep thoughts for today, as I’m finding it hard enough to think shallow, but I will leave you with this. It’s a picture of Canada, as seen from the East coast of Japan…

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~ by The Running Emu on February 3, 2007.

2 Responses to “Castle + Kirin = Contented Canadian”

  1. first, i enjoy that last picture a lot. good stuff.

    second, i totally support your comment about the PDA on tranalist’s page.

  2. Mike, I enjoy your photos. Your Japanese “family”, nice orange shirt, and your view of Canada. Nice. Love, Mom

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