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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.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Swedish culture and Japanese food


On Sunday I was invited to some friends who live near "Sweden Hills", a place where all houses have to be built and painted like Swedish houses. They also apparently have a lot of snow already (most snow falls in February, so it is reasonable to expect at least double what they have now towards the middle of February). The snow is higher than a grown person standing.

Nabe

Rice and egg poured into the broth that is left after eating the nabe.
I was invited to a "nabe-party". Nabe is a Japanese type of food often eaten in winter, and you do not cook it when you are alone, so I rarely eat it. It is quite good. I brought along another Swede, who also lives alone and thus does not eat nabe very often.

Swedish saffron buns, chocolate balls, and alcohol.
He brought lots of Swedish stuff with him, like strong alcohol, and saffron buns that he had flown to Osaka to bake and bring back to Sapporo (he does not have an oven, but his friend in Osaka does).

Rice porrige, considered weird by Japanese people
He also brought "rice porridge" (日本語) which combines rice and milk. This is very weird to Japanese people. They were polite enough to say that "This is not something I would like to eat, but if someone says I have to eat it I could do it without too much trouble".

Mochi, gooey rice "cakes", wrapped in seaweed.
 There was also large amounts of other food available. Like mochi.

Strong liquor and a cake.
One of my presents, chop sticks that can double as a spoon and a fork. Below is a box of chocolate covered marshmallows.
 When we arrived, we were told that in fact this was a birthday party. More specifically, it was my birthday party. Since my birthday is in the end of October, and it is the end of January now, this was something of a surprise. There was cake and presents, though, so this was a pleasant surprise.
Transcribing the Swedish name "Kalle" to Japanese and then back again resulted in something else... No one I know is named Karre.
This is how you spell Kalle, and there are also lots of books by a Swedish author on the table.
There was also a large collection of Swedish books (translated into Japanese) brought forth. In a magazine reporting on books by this author, they had misspelled a very common Swedish name into something strange, which we thought was funny.

5 comments:

  1. Beautiful houses and sumptuous meal

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    1. There is almost always large amounts of nice food when you are invited to Japanese homes. I have only met one person in Japan so far that is bad at cooking.

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  2. XD Birthday party in January?!?! I want that too lol (I have birthday at the end of..... October:D )
    Looks like it was lot of fun:) I really admire your friend who flights back and forth just to bake something:)

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    1. Dinner, cake, presents, a real birthday party. Only 3 months late, but that was the only problem :-) It just shows how busy everyone in Japan is, I guess. My first birthday party was in the middle of November, and that was together with a guy who is born in the beginning/middle of October...

      My friend claims he did do other things in Osaka, not just baking sweets. But he did schedule his trip to Osaka in such a way that it would be good timing with the sweets when he used them in Sapporo.

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    2. I still think it's because you know those 300-or-so Japanese people who are....always late XD But it's cute in a way that they are trying:)
      Well....you're friend is planing well then:)

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