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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.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Valentine's chocolate? Pity chocolate

In Japan, Valentine's Day is celebrated by women giving chocolate to men they are interested in. They also have to give chocolate to anyone they work with (giri-choco ("duty chocolate")).

Every year, any number of people tell me about this Japanese custom (that I already know of) and they tell me that as a foreigner I can expect to get huge amounts of chocolate since many Japanese women love foreigners.

Every year, I get more or less zero chocolate... I do not even get giri-choco. I get laughed at by 7 year old kids. I get pity from my professor at work who thinks I get sad amounts of chocolate. I almost get mentally scarred, haha. And it does not help that people come every year to tell me how much chocolate foreigners get and how popular foreigners (apparently, everyone except me) are with the women.

This year, I already got some chocolate though! A Japanese and female friend gave me fancy chocolate (or, actually dried fruits dipped in chocolate) today. Today is not Valentine's Day, but she said it was Valentine's chocolate so I guess it still counts. She also said, and I quote: "You being you will certainly get no real Valentine's chocolate, so I felt sorry for you and bought this for you." Which, coincidentally, is almost exactly what a Swedish female friend said when she gave me chocolate 4 years ago, haha.

But the chocolate was very good, so getting chocolate out of pity is still good! Not sure why the ribbon around the package has a skull, or if this is a warning/bad sign of some sort, though, haha.

She also gave me a pastry of some sort that she herself got at a wedding yesterday (in Japan, the bride and groom give gifts to all the guests at their wedding...).

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