I am nomad. Hear me roar.


Friday, 31 December 2010


On the Romantic Train


Just any other day in Arashiyama

White Christmas

Christmas Day was manic.

Between early morning Skyping, a full day of work, and sneaking off to the break room after my lessons to call Oz, I was kept pretty busy. I had actually planned it this way, to ensure I didn't get homesick and spend the whole day moping, as I may have done if given the opportunity.

Instead I had a really fun day which ended at dinner with Diglett and his fiance, in a pizza joint near work. The pizza place, Slices in Ame-mura, in place of its usual menu was conjuring up gourmet masterpieces in the form of Christmas turkey dinners. The turkey was moist, tender and accompanied by stuffing, cranberry jelly, mashie tater, and a gravy-like sauce, which I later wiped clean off my plate with my dinner roll.


If this wasn't all perfect enough, it was followed majestically by a gorgeous piece of homemade apple-pie with cream.


Just as I was leaving the restaurant, happily sated with a nice round little turkey-filled belly, it began to snow. Just a light flurry, but just enough, to catch a few flakes on my tongue, and to grant this Aussie nomad her second ever white Christmas.

Absolutely magic.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas Care Package

Christmas Tree Nomad Style

A Slice of Christmas

Yesterday, still bent on the idea of experiencing a really Japanese Christmas I went and bought a Christmas cake from the kombini, 7Eleven to be specific.

Japan seems to have two types of Christmas, the first being a form of the French Buche de Noel, which is a chocolate cream and chocolate sponge roll, iced and dressed to look like a yule log. The second is white cream and plain sponge layer cake, often covered in fruit or Santa themed decorations. The specimen I purchased was an example of the former, which I split with my colleagues. It was very sweet, light, and more creamy than chocolate-y. The idea of these cakes, is that it is to be shared by your family on Christmas Eve, and is often purchased on the way home from work on this day.

I didn't really stick to the tradition as I bought and ate mine on Christmas Day instead, but I don't think that affected the flavour at all.

All in all, the cake was pretty delicious, considering it was convenience store fare, it seems like an alright tradition to have for Christmas.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Have a Very Merry KFC!

In Japan there is a rather strange phenomenon that occurs every Christmas.

Everyone eats fried chicken.

This is due to a particularly over zealous marketing campaign KFC has been running, that started in 1974 with a Christmas deal that included a bottle of wine. Since then, the idea of KFC being synonymous with Christmas has become solidified in the collective Japanese consciousness.

People all over Japan are queuing for miles today and most branches including my local have been advertising a pre-order service for months. In fact, if you happen to want KFC today, or even yesterday, you have to have ordered it weeks ago.

Yesterday, in an attempt to experience a truly Japanese Christmas, I did actually pick up a ridiculous amount of fried chicken for lunch, and proceeded to scoff the lot. I'm not sure if I felt very Christmas-y but I did feel a little sick, if that counts.

'Wishing you a Happy Xmas', from all the shopping centre signs near my work.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Wrap

Christmas has exploded all over Japan and it's, well, it's empty.

The trees are up, the windows are dressed, the carols are being played on repeat in Uniqlo, but the feeling is just not there. Japan has the look, there is just no gooey Christmas filled centre. It's a bit like cracking open an M&M and finding only hollow candy shell, it's sweet, but still lacking in substance.

I wrote the above about four hours ago, and had all but given up on finding true Christmas spirit here in Japan, I was planning on returning home and finishing the post about how Christmas over here, is not like Christmas at all, that it is more like Valentine's Day in sexy Santa suits.

However, just as I was walking out the door at work, a complete stranger glances up, gives me the biggest cheesiest grin, and wishes me a "Merry Christmas".

That's all it takes, instant Christmas spirit.

Merry Christmas Everyone.