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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.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Valentine giri chocolate!

On Friday nights we have a girl working in our magic bar. She does not do magic (though she did do some magic one time a long time ago when her colleagues from her day job stopped by) but she makes drinks and does the dishes.

In Japan, women are expected to give chocolate or home baked cakes or cookies to all the men that they work with. It is a Valentine's day thing. In Japan, women are supposed to give chocolate to men that they like as a sign that they like them. They also have to give "giri-choco" ("giri" means duty or something you have to do) to all their male colleagues, especially anyone above them in the hierarchy.

I usually never get any chocolate for Valentine's (despite this being my 8th Valentine's Day in Japan), but every year many Japanese people come up to me and tell me I will receive huge amounts of chocolate because all foreigners are so popular with the ladies in Japan. Apparently all foreigners except me. I also do not get this "giri-choco", in large part because there are no women at my place of work. My previous boss for some reason always gets huge amounts of "giri-choco", so there must be women around here somewhere, though.

Last year, our secretary did give me giri-choco after I had helped her with a lot of English language work that needed to be done (explaining strange Japanese rules to important foreign visiting professors etc.). This year, the girl in our magic bar already (almost a week before Valentine's Day) gave me a chocolate cheese cake tart. Which was "giri-choco" (not "I like you choco"), and delicious.

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