13 February 2007

It's Valentine's Day. In Japan.

Japanese go nuts for Valentine's Day. Ever ready to embrace the kitsch, the tacky, and the commercially exploitative, stores stock a multitude of Valentine-themed gifts and treats, and restaurants are booked out well in advance. In a rather unique spin-off, the women are supposed to approach the object of their desire and give a gift - usually chocolate. And, because this is Japan, you just wouldn't be shopping if there were not six thousand or so different chocolates, produced especially for the occasion, to choose from. Choices include your standard fare, plus flavours like wasabi horseradish, black pepper, and soy sauce.

In keeping with the ever reliable reporting and informative approach for which this blog is known, I read somewhere, oh, maybe not so long ago, that as much as one quarter of the total amount of confectionary consumed in Japan is on or for Valentine's Day. A hotel in Tokyo even has a Valentine's offer to cover a couple from head to toes in chocolate cream. Nice.

So, like I said, this country is crazy for February 14. Because of this, Japan is also the worst place in the world to be on Valentine's Day if you're single. And if all your single mates are in Australia. The only solution, I figured, was to buy myself a wee giftie. I'm not really one for chocolate, but a fine single malt? Oh, aye.

Tonight, I shall go home and have a wee dram or ten and wait for March 14, also known as White Day, when it's the men's turn to approach the objects of their desire. I wonder which will be more fun... not having anyone to give chocolates to? Or not receiving any? One must live through the horror twice.

Slainte mhath.


  1. Me Nightingale, iffin Th' Cap'n was there, she'd bring ye chocolates an' much alchoholic beverages...

  2. Cap'n-san, ye've just brought a smile to me face on this rather grim day. It's rainin' and the sky is as grey as me mood.
    Thank ye. I be hopin' ye have an enjoyable day, and don't get bit!
    I'll raise me tankard o' whiskey to ye this eve.

  3. Happy Valentine's Day Gaijin Girl! Me? What am I doing on this day? Bumming around with the ex (who is now dating my friend), arguing, punching each other in the arm, calling each other names. Just like being married.

    I know that being single in a country where most of the male population claim to not understand any English and are, on average, four feet tall must bite. But it could be worse. You could by brain-eating parasites. Now, that would be a pretty shit day.

  4. I'd give ya a romantic one if I was there, instead of a wipe I'd hand you a red rose, ya see you catch the weemen off guard. I'm like Cary Grant I am.

  5. Does this count as your Friday Seppuku entry?

    I agree with Fatman, it could def be worse. I've been trying to prove that chocolate takes years off your life, but the powerful chocolate lobby keeps putting a stop to my research. Also, there are plenty of Vday gifts that are given each year that you probably don't want to receive. Like herpes.

  6. So it's only the girls who give gifts today? Sounds a rip off to me.

  7. Ooh! Laphroaig! My second favourite malt (after cask strength Talisker).

    If you want something on White Day, GG, you'd better buy your boss those wasabi chocolates …

  8. Thanks, Fatty. I hope yer day didn't end up in a violent domestic dispute involving scratching and hair pulling. Embrace your samarui within and dish it out.
    Ah, I admit I'm an arrogant bint, but not so much that I expect people to speak English (although it's damn helpful for me if they do). And you're right, the fact that blokes here are shorter, slimmer and prettier than me does blow. And they have magnificent hair. Life could be worse... that's one of the mantras I repeat to myself every day.


    Old man: Aww, you are lovely. You do keep me on my toes with your random surprises. Cary Grant, Barry Manilow, you're a man with many faces.


    Hame: This entry so isn't worthy of FS, so no. This is me being all warm and fuzzy and celebratory about the joy brought on by Valentine's Day. Er, does that not come across?
    Have you been spreading the love around again?


    Lynn: did you read this post?


    Boss: My two faves are actually an equal tie for first - Lagavulin being the other. I've not tried Talisker (that I remember) so I'll keep an eye out for it in the shops.
    Omg, do you really like the sound of the wasabi chocolate or are you taking the piss? Sounds gruesome to me. I'm happy to post some your way...

  9. Scotch kicks chocolate's ass. And I'm a chocolate whore.

    Happy V-Day, Gaijin Girl!

  10. A chocolate whore … Mmmmm … Where can I get me one of those?

    And GG; When I get home I'll be mixing the wasabi and chocolate in a potentially lethal cocktail that could … just … be as delicious as my home-made Maya Gold and chili ice cream … or it could kill my tastebuds forever.

  11. Cheers and hiccup to you, Sassy Sundry. Obviously the flu is kicked and you're back on the big wheel as you go scootin' off towards McIntriguing!
    Happy V-Day to you, too.


    Boss, we'll need photos of the whole process. I'd love to see exactly how that lethal cocktail turns out. Er, good luck with that.

  12. Wasabi chocolate, well i'll be.
    I had a client once who snorted wasabi and soy sauce, wasn't pretty.

  13. kate, anything goes in this fair land - even chocolate is not safe from the ministrations of the fairest ones.
    your client must have been in a very bad way after that. it's tragic what people do to get away from stuff [as she takes a swig from her pot of whiskey]

  14. I was going to get Linzi one of those hilarious fake poos, but the lads at work said I shouldn't. Bah.

  15. I really have come to hate this day--it was miserable in high school when I never got the stupid flowers the student council sold, and if I get flowers now, they're a last-minute from the big pot just inside the door at the grocery. Let's just scrap it planet wide.

    Enjoy your giftie.

  16. Look out, GG! Sweary bit!
    Oh crap. Oh fuck! Oh, holy fucking shitty wank NOOO!

    … Actually …
    That's not bad …
    And the aftertaste is AMAZING!!

    That was Old Dive smearing wasabi paste on a big old chunk of Green and Black's Dark and letting it explode in his mouth.

    Um … I've put a lot of unusual things in my mouth over the decades, but I can safelt say that was one of the most … interesting.
    For the adventurous gourmand only.

  17. Kav: Ah, what do the lads know anyway? If fake poo is how you express your love then ... man, poor Linzi.
    Having said that, I'd probably choose fake poo over nothing at all, but that's just a reflection on the current state of my life...


    Robyn: It was really interesting to read how everyone hates the day. Despite what I wrote in the post (everything on this blog can be taken with a grain of salt) I'm not bothered by it either way; although if I were surrounded by gushing people I would probably resort to violence, V-Day or not.
    I imagine it's a much bigger deal in the States than in Australia? I've always done a pretty good job of ignoring it as a crass and tacky commercial venture.
    Er, dare I ask if you received any flowers this year? Even last minute ones?


    Dive: You crack me up. Hehe, I can't believe you ate that!
    We could make it a weekly thing: Dive's Extreme Eating, where you're set a new combination of bizarre ingredients. Good work. I'm proud of you, mate.

  18. Oh God that's tempting!
    I shall give it some serious thought.
    I've already done whalemeat and a few other things in old posts.
    Hmm … Mind whirring …

  19. Boss, I got three words for you: liquorice and mascarpone.

  20. Um, no flowers, not even shriveled up ones from the case at WalMart.

  21. oh, sorry babe. still, from a singleton's point of view, you had a warm body to snuggle up to at the end of the day. i miss that. romance is over rated, but intimacy is what it's all about - that connection with someone.

  22. What do the Yakuza do on Valentine's Day?

  23. Happy Valentine's Day Forty_Two!

    Seeing you asked so nicely, the yakuza have taken to shooting each other a few times in the head, point blank range, in broad daylight in the middle of the afternoon in Azabujuban (central Tokyo).

    You old romantic, you.