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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Osaka trip: funny souvenirs

In Japan you are expected to by something local and hand stuff out to everyone you know. These souvenirs are called omiyage, and since it is more or less an obligation to buy such things, there is a very rational system where they have all the different choices made available at the airport or trainstation so you can pick up an appropriate amount right before going home (so you do not have to lug stuff around during your trip). Omiyage is usually cookies or sweets. In Sapporo we have the very famous Shiroi-Koibito-souvenir cookies. Shiroi-Koibito means "white lover" and perhaps has something to do with all the white snow we get here (6 meters per year)? It is a white chocolate based sweet.

Funny lover-cookies
Osaka is not famous for snow, it is famous for comedians. In Osaka you can find Omosiroi-Koibito-souvenirs. While shiroi means "white", omoshiroi means "funny". So in Osaka you can find a funny lover. The Shiroi-Koibito-souvenirs taste better than the funny ones, though.

A cell phone strap plastic doll with my face
The best souvenir thingy we found was in the airport though. It was similar to purikura in that a machine took your picture (you could upload things from your camera or cell phone too if you preferred). Then it printed your face onto a small plastic mask. This mask you could then put in the face position of small plastic dolls. There were lots of dolls to choose from, and I was undecided between the black ninja (also available in pink) and the red geisha. My friend said the geisha was best for me, so I mad myself a small "Jonas geisha doll".

The doll face printing machine, and a selection of dolls to choose from

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