The program title was ( allow me to translate directly ) "Earth Crisis 2008 - To people who live blandly. " It showed the reports from several points from the world,where faces real crisis.
At the foot of Mt. Everest, there are some small villages, but they are facing the danger that the villages might be hit by large scale flood due to the melted ice from glacier. From the ocean near the north pole, it showed the melting ice and compared the area ( which now has a big hole. ) to 10 years ago. ( It was fully covered with thick ice 10 years ago. ) The orangutan in the Borneo forest are loosing their homes. The Aral Sea in Kazkhstan & Uzbekistan is shrinking. Finally the beautiful Galapagos is now facing the loss of original ecosystem and animals are trying to hard to survive.... All these are caused by people's foolish choices, competitions, egoism. Yes, it has been talked for a while now, but seeing it in the real images gave me strong impact. I hope they do air the program many more times and produce the series. It is educational. I would like to make money and live good life, but I 'd like to keep simple life and try not to waste food and appreciate what we have now. Japan is depending on foreign countries for its food supply. One of the reason is that we became extravagant and too picky. It is shocking that convenience store's food is damped everyday although the food mileage they have spent to come here is huge. We need to think about these and start from what we can do. Yes, if I think of something good, I will forward it to those corporation and present the plan. ( I need to run my business, so cannot do much volunteer work. Still, if there is something small, I feel I should work on that after seeing that. )
Some offices are starting new year's business today, some are
starting next Monday. Well, I did some work during new year's holidays, but I am working today. Because I am bit busy and also because I am fed up with new year's feast, I wanted to have something light and easy. Here is instant udon noodle soup with sweet fried-bean curd. There is a packet inside, soup powder and chili pepper. Open the powder packet and put on the freeze-dried bean-curd. Pour boiled hot water into the cup. ( up to the line of the inside the cup) Cover with the lid ( when you peel the lid, open only half and close it again) and wait for 5 min. Sprinkle chili pepper and stir. Yum !
This udon is called Kitsune ( Fox ) Udon (thick white noodle made of wheat flour ) . It is said fox loves deep fried bean curd. ( some kind of folk tale, I think. Correct me if I am wrong ! There are many Inari Jinja=shrine in Japan and fox is considered as messenger of Inari Jinja. At Inari Jinja , you will often see twin foxes welcoming you at the entrance. It looks like they are guarding the god. ) Inari jinja is related to industrial business.
( It seems originally considered as god for agriculture. )
I just finished eating this. Soba, chopped green onion and wasabi as condiments with cold sake.
( Yamada Nishiki from Kobe )
Now I finished ( finally ) all the cleaning of the room and am ready for new year. The TV program ( kohaku ) is still on. It feels good to have new year. Refreshing. Hope 2008 will be a good year for me and everybody in the world.
"Kohaku Uta Gassen" ( = Red-women vs. White-men song competition ) . It is 58th this year.
Started at 7:20 p.m. and will last till just before midnight. Since I was child, watching this program has been a custom. After the program, we eat soba-noodle ( This is called Toshikoshi Soba = buckwheat noodle eaten on New Year's Eve) listening to Night Watch Bell. This bell rings 108 times , which is the number of human earthly desires. Wait a moment, I will post the photo of the noodle later or tomorrow morning. You will see our traditional new year food as well.
Wish you all Happy New Year and Full of Happiness !
When I host a party at my place, I would appreciate it if people show up like 10 , 15 min. late, because sometimes I am not ready being busy with cooking etc. Also, I have been told by my American friends and others, " Be fashionably late " since it is a manner. The group who asked me why I was late were very Japanese people. So, I explained that and apologized if it caused any inconvenience. Since then, for this group's gathering, I try to show up on time. On the other hand, with the gathering of foreign friends, I try to be flexible because people are more easy going. It is sometimes difficult since I feel like I have to have multiple personalities. Yet, this is probably a typical cultural gap I should understand and be a bridge for Japanese and foreign people. Let me add one more thing. If you book restaurant in Japan and if you think you might be late, please just ring them and let them know that you are 10 min. late or 15 min. late since it helps the restaurants to be prepared and keep your reservation. I talked to a friend who owns barbecue restaurant near my place. She says all her customers call if they are late even 5 min. She appreciates it since she can plan the next reservation based on that. Some restaurants cancel your reservation if you don't show up and are late more than 20 min., so please be aware of that.