lightheart_7 (lightheart_7) wrote,

Japan continued

Yesterday I spent some time in the Hondori shopping area of Hiroshima. I am not looking to buy anything in particular, just seeing what things jump out at me as representative of our visit and some trinkets for loved ones. The very narrow street is covered by a canopy that keeps out the weather.
These pictures we took on our first day here (Sunday). Monday was much more sedate, fewer people strolling about, fewer outlandish outfits. The young girls wear what I would consider fetish wear out on the street. Most women carry umbrellas and cover their arms with special sleeves while they are out in the sun. They remove the sleeves inside. `

On the first picture here, you can see the McDonald's on the left side of the picture.

One of the most picturesque things we saw the first day was a young girl in full traditional garb, including the wooden shoes-sitting and waiting on the street with her head bowed:

It was raining quite hard all afternoon, so I spent time in the hotel room reading while Sheldon was in his conference. I walked over to meet him for a reception and chatted with some of his old colleagues from NH. Wehad dinner at the japanese restaurant here at the hotel.
Sheldon's post about the dinner:
An account of dinner at the hotel restaurant in Hiroshima, wherein our intrepid travelers have a cultural collision.

We decided with the rain to have dinner in tonight and went to the top floor restaurant of the hotel. We were seated and brought the "english" menu, and ordered. Jane had Sashimi and I ordered Shabushabu, a dish of boiled beef and vegetables. I had ordered it in Ca, and liked the flavors.

The waitress brought Jane's first courses, and then brought a large gas fired burner to the table. She brought a selection of bowls of prepared vegetables, sauces and two trays of sliced beef and it became apparent that I was expected to cook my own dinner. She asked if we wanted rice or noodles and then tied an apron around my neck.

Not one to shrink from a challenge, I took the oversized cooking chopsticks and started to place beef and veggies into the boil. All was well, until I tried to place the rice cake at which point I was gently admonished, and told eventually that was for later. She brought a note that said the noodles would come at the end.

I was doing my best to handle the unfamiliarly large sticks and to eat with the unfamiliarly small tipped ones we were given, and thought I was doing ok, until the tongs were brought from the kitchen, and she asked if I wanted a fork. I accepted the tongs for fishing slippery veggies from boiling water, and declined the fork.

We got through, cooked the rice cake and were brought the Udon, or noodles. Since I had so obviously struggled with vegetables and beef that could be picked up, I asked for advice on how to eat the noodles. She suggested a fork. I demurred and tried to ask about technique. She went back and forth to the kitchen and brought out various tools, spoons etc, until I decided to just scoop and slurp. Apparently that was the winning technique, which brought a huge smile.

We could hear the laughter from the kitchen, and Jane's narration was "and these people could actually get on a plane and come here? "

A memorable evening, and the little waitress that could deserved our sincere thanks, for making it so.


 I will post today later after I download the pictures. A very heart-touching day.

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