Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Birthday cake for Mr. Dove
Yesterday I was asked to come to one of our magic bars. There I met a magician friend, who was there with his girlfriend, and a magician colleague. They played some tricks on me with a Russian roulette party cracker that they had rigged to not be so much Russian roulette anymore, and they produced a cake.
Last year, the same colleague had intended to get a cake that said "Happy Birthday 洋茄子" because I usually say to Japanese people that my name is "Jonas [which people have a hard time understanding because it does not sound like a name to them], with the "you" [the start of Jonas sounds like Japanese "you" in Swedish] from 北洋銀行 ["Hokuyou Ginkou (North Pacific Bank), a weird thing to exemplify your name with] and the "nase" from the vegetable 茄子 ["nasu", eggplant, also weird]. It was too difficult to explain this over the phone to the cake company, though, so in the end it said ヨウナシ [用無し, "useless"] instead.
This year I was curious what the cake would say. It said 「鳩」[pigeon or dove in Japanese]. Jonas means dove as in the symbol of peace in Hebrew (it is a Hebrew name from the Bible), so when I have to write my name with Japanese letters, I usually write it as 鳩. I have not been called 鳩 in many years, except yesterday. At the Afro Play Halloween party I met a girl that I first met when everyone used to call me 鳩, so she still calls me that. (This, by the way, is also the reason why this blog has the name that it has.) This name too was somewhat surprising to the cake company, since no one would name their child "Pigeon" in Japan...
Even though they were about 13 minutes early (it was still slightly before midnight when the cake appeared), it was nice to have someone to celebrate my birthday with. The cake was nice too.
Today I also received two small pieces of candy from our secretary. One was shaped like a foot, and one was shaped like a Buddha.
My parents also sent me a present this year, a very nice book with photos of the area where our family's summer house is located. It also has lots of recipes for Swedish food. My brother and his wife also sent me a present: lots of licorice (which Japanese people hate, so you cannot really buy it here) and a science fiction book that seems very interesting. All in all, possibly the best birthday so far in Japan, haha.