Carrots and hamsters

DSCF0888.JPGIt’s sort of summer, finally. Even though not yet uncomfortably hot (usually not much more than +25), the humidity is clearly on the rise and yesterday’s planned picnic in the Suomenlinna simulator park (Odaiba Kaihinkooen) would have been ruined by nasty rain (had it not already been ruined by my insomnia and migraines). Nevertheless, the first eat-all-you-want -day of my notorious dieting hobby was spent more or less pleasantly, hanging out at Odaiba malls as well as watching Constantine in Ikebukuro’s Cinema Sunshine. (No quantitative reports on the diets, sorry, I am sure you all just crave to know ….:P)
I like carrots raw; for some reason, since early childhood, I’ve disliked the taste of cooked carrots at least comparing to the taste of raw ones. So, I often have a carrot or two on my desk at work, in case I again miss a lunch or something and need a quick snack (and prefer to abstain from the indescribable wares the vending machine is proposing…). On Friday, our headmaster of animal stables – a very genki short lady who has her way around mice as professionally as around pigs and cows – was shocked to see the stub of carrot left on my desk. “What is this?” she exclaimed. “Did you eaten a carrot??!”
Yes, I did eat a carrot”, I correct her. She clasps my shoulder and looks deep into my eyes, saying “humans don’t eat carrots. Or, maybe in a soup.”
I asked around a bit, and, indeed, not one of my japanese collagues 1) eats carrots (raw) (one girl confessed seeing sometimes some grated carrot in a salad) 2) likes the taste of carrot, and raw carrot seems to be utterly disgusting. Eyes wide they listen as I tell them that in Finland they give raw carrots to kids at kindergardens to clean the teeth, and that I actually prefer my carrots raw.
ryoohki1.jpgLater the same day, I was telling one girl that I need to visit that one great shop that sells good, sugarless (gasps of horror removed) muesli at a reasonable price of 700 yen per kilo, and she’s wondering what is muesli. The One Truth, having a vast knowledge of barbarian customs, explains that muesli is that food that looks like hamsterfood, kind of a cereal. Ah, the girl goes, soodeskaa. But what for I would have need for a whole KILO of muesli? I eat it every morning, I say. “EVERY MORNING?! ” they exclaim in unison and look as amused as I had told them I play with toy cars every evening before going to bed.
Indeed, even though McDonalds is as popular as everywhere else, this is definetly a place that’s Somewhere Else.
(Uploaded a bunch of photos from the Nagano/Togakushi trip here. Some but not ALL of them will be later in the main gallery.)