Originally published on 28th December 2015 on Blogger
Well, I lost a days blog. My own fault, really, wrote it and went out, without saving it, and Mya used the iPad to play Minecraft with the girls, and it died…… Oh, well.
So, two days in one. We have had a quiet couple of days, after all the excitement of Christmas, we needed a rest. So yesterday, I spent the morning catching up on blogging and Finn on whatever it is that Finn does. Lancy had to do some homework. Calligraphy. As she was setting up, I was quite intrigued. This is an important class all the way through school here. Maki was telling me that it is no longer practiced in China, but it is regarded as culturally significant in Japan, and it is very serious. The text books even tell you how you must sit to write. Mya gave it a go, certainly it is very steeped in etiquette and the grounding of your own ink seems almost like a ritual. I liked it immediately. It is not easy. In fact, it is very, very difficult. Lancy’s work is beautiful, and Chelsea is also very adept. Maki showed us her skill, and her movements were precise, unhurried, and hypnotically fluid. Very beautiful. I then had a go. I am used to writing the kanji I was trying to paint……… Wow…… So hard to get the brush strokes correct. Mya gave it a really good go. She was writing the kanji for river 川 and her name in Katakana, マヤ. It was a lovely way to spend a morning.
After organising lunch for Mya, she had a play date with the girls and Lancy’s friend. So, Finn and I caught a bus into Kyoto station and went looking through a very large mall, called Aeon Mall. Finn was happy, unagi again. Omurice for me, with prawns, yummy. Finn then proceeded to play video games in the arcade. He played for about 40 minutes on ¥300 (about $3.50). Next stop was the cutest pet shop in the world, selling very small, very fluffy little puppies and kittens. Made me miss my baby……
Home for dinner, and another lovely meal prepared by Sim. Sim is a very good cook. He’s Singapore born Chinese heritage……lived in many countries and loves cooking and flavours. Lots of garlic, lots of ginger, lots of taste. Squid and prawns with garlic shoots and veggies on rice. Delicious. Mya tried the pork, in fact, Mya tries everything, and eats almost anything.
This morning Mya had already told us she was not coming out with us, so after delicious breakfast of rice, grilled salmon, nori, miso and pickles, Finn and I headed out. Well, a bit of a disaster. Museum was closed for New Year. We diverted to the Nishiki Market, and saw some amazing things. A lot of live seafood, parts of animals I have never seen before, big barrels of pickled vegetables, the most expensive Manuka honey I have ever seen….. It was packed, it was somewhat aromatic, and it was not Magoo’s cup of tea.
We walked a little further, down to the “funky” side of town, and looked through manga shops, book shops, electronics shops, pop culture shops…..and a few clothes shops. Finn would not let me buy the most amazing boots I have ever seen. I might sneak back and get them. Ninja style (the boots, oh, and me, too, I guess, if I sneak back). Home again, dinner cooked by Sim, again, chicken curry. Delicious. Mya had mutton. She really is a little gourmet. After dinner the girls pulled out the fireworks. This was fun.
So, I have just packed all our stuff up, an overnight case for all of us, and then everything else into the other cases, as tomorrow morning, very early, we head off to Kochi. We are going to stay with Maki’s mum and family for a night. Kochi is in Shikoku, and we are going on the bullet train. It is Chelsea and Lancy’s first time. Very exciting. In Kochi, Mya will catch up with Narumi and Mae, cousins and second cousins that she met last time we were in Kyoto. Apparently it is very rare for Westerners to visit, so all the extended family are coming to see us. We are going to make omochi, traditional on New Years. I am very excited to see where Maki grew up. It is rural and historic and I will take lots of photos.