(Where the lights are low.)
Enough of that.
Last Thursday I opened a bank account using my swanky new seal.
The experience was only slightly longer and more finicky than opening a new account with the Cumberland, so I was pleasantly surprised to get out of there in under two hours.
The bank was located on the edge of China Town so I had a wee explore before it opened at nine – most shops and restaurants only open after 10 so it was pretty quiet.
I had a great espresso to celebrate my new account (opened so that I can pay for school lunches and sundry materials). After that I walked thirty minutes or so to meet Dan for lunch.
The night before, we had walked to another part of Chinatown for an explore (for tea), and were flagged down by a lady on a bike shouting “Daniel-san, Daniel-san!”. It was one of Dan’s colleagues, who is lovely and very supportive of us, and who had given us an empty 5kg rice bag for school. We asked her advice for somewhere to eat and she suggested a cheap ‘hole in the wall’ and gave us directions.
We found the place and sat outside and ordered some dishes. One of my favourites was a pickled cucumber dish. The food was great and finished with a lovely dessert which was ame tofu flavoured with cardamom and lemon: a really refreshing and delicious combination.
Yesterday was the first day of Golden Week and we decided to check out a list of cheap shops that sell international foods. These were all located in Chinatown. I finally found some chick peas and lentils and I also spotted my first Fair Trade label and some rose petal jam, which I’ve only ever eaten once before and really loved.
I also found some Japanese ice cream I’d been wanting to try since watching a YouTube video about ice cream.
This ice cream tub was multilayered; with vanilla ice cream on the bottom, then some dollops of marshmallowy mochi mixture (chewy pounded rice dough), and a cofffee-ey/chocolatey sauce on top and a finished with a sprinkling of soy flour. George and I loved it. Ollie and Dan weren’t so keen.
The boys grabbed a dumpling (without the panda face) and we headed home with our provisions.
Yesterday we walked to Honmoku where there is a brilliant ¥100 shop and we bought all sorts of necessities.
I also spotted some lovely traditional shops like this seaweed shop. And also a less traditional Viking family restaurant!
Today we went to a food fair put on by one of the two local international schools: St Maur.
The Czech stall was selling bottles of very tasty beer for ¥400, and the Hawaiian stall had long hunks of pineapple on sticks for ¥200. We also scored some second hand English books for the boys and a second hand bike for George for ¥500 and struck up a friendship with a family from Walton on Thames. Result!
Here’s the ice cream video. Enjoy!