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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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A fairly chocolate-less Valentine (again)

Hot cocoa with apples, instead of soup.
Today was Valentine's Day, quite a big thing in Japan. Women are supposed to give chocolate to men they like, giri-chocolate (duty chocolate) to men they work with or who have helped them in some way (or they are just generally duty bound to give chocolate to), and there are some other rules too.

Everyone tells me every year that I will get huge amounts of chocolate because I am a man, and all men get lots of chocolate. A 7 year old kid told me he got chocolate from his mom, his sisters, quite a few class mates, etc., totaling around 10 people. A bartender I spoke to today mentioned getting chocolate from 60 or so women... People tell me I should expect more than Japanese men, because I am a foreigner and Japanese women love foreigners. And I have a job where we have quite a few women in our work place.

Still, since I got 0 pieces of chocolate every one of my 6 previous Valentine's Days in Japan, I was not expecting much. But this year our new secretary gave me three pieces of chocolate as thanks for helping her taking care of and explaining difficult secretary related things (in English) to lots of our foreign guests during the year.

Other than that, there was not much chocolate in sight. I got a cup of hot cocoa with apple slices in it in the restaurant where I had dinner (today's soup was hot cocoa). That was it.

My business card can be read in the middle, the chocolate labels can be read in the mirrors.

I also had a bunch of "gyaku-choco", "reverse chocolate" or chocolate that a man can give to a woman even though it is Valentine's Day, but no women showed up that were interested in getting chocolate from me. I gave one chocolate bar to our secretary, though. She seemed happy enough, though she did say "Ah, this brand is very cheap!"...

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