Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Since today was a public holiday, I did not have to work. No one I know wanted to hang out, so after taking a few hundred photos of cherry trees, I got kind of bored. So I went shopping again. I bought a backpack that can also be unfolded to be carried in your hand easily and that looks kind of nice. I also bought a new wallet. I wanted a brown one, but they did not have any brown ones anymore.
Recently I have worn white trousers quite often. I often swear over this, because they get incredibly dirty within a few seconds from putting them on... So I ended up buying one more pair of white trousers. They were cheap and had a nice dragon design made by carving in the cloth.
I took my bicycle to Maruyama Koen, a park where people do hanami (cherry blossom viewing) like crazy in Sapporo. The park was full of people having barbecues. This is, I am told, a local Hokkaido custom. In the rest of the country people just sit under the flowers and drink alcohol (and eat food they brought with them already cooked). In Sapporo you always have a barbecue under the cherry trees. In fact, in Hokkaido people also take "Do you want to go to the beach?" to mean "Do you want to have a barbecue, at the beach?". Which, again, I am told is weird to people from the rest of Japan too.
Most of the cherry blossoms were long gone when I got to the park, but the ume (plum trees) were looking nice. Some sakura (cherry blossoms) were still left too. Mainly in places with little sunlight.
I met one of my university friends in the park. He was there with his girlfriend. He asked me if I was there alone, and when I said "Yes" he said "Oh..." with a pitying look... I need to get some friends that can move around during the days (my friends work, so you can pretty much only meet them if you to their place of work).
A woman came up to me and said: "You are the guy with the "tettereeee!" magic trick, right?" Apparently she has been in our magic bar. And people tend to remember a trick where I keep saying "tettereee" (which is really annoying to Japanese people).
There were some festival style tents selling food on the temple grounds right next to the park, so I bought some "croissant tai-waffles". They were good.
There was a guy speeding around on something that looked like a cross between a Segway and a skateboard.
Sometimes you see people dressed as Mario characters driving go-carts around in Sapporo. Today I saw three of them.
Today I took a walk to the park right next to where I live. When I go there, I was met with piles of cherry blossom leaves on the ground and thought that I was too late for the very short cherry blossoming period. This year the trees bloom earlier than normal, one or two weeks earlier, since it has been very warm this year.
While the season was way past its peak, there were still some late trees that looked nice.
On my "shopping because I am bored" round, I also found a bunch of Star Wars t-shirts at Uniqlo. Some of them were very nice, so I bought five.
|This is Yoda. Playing UFO-catcher (crane games)!|
|R2D2 with graffiti. The graffiti is quite clever, actually.|
|The back of the Darth Maul shirt had the emperor.|
|The back of the Darth Vader was also pretty nice.|
|The shirt with the land speeder also had the intro text to the first Star Wars movie.|
|Land speeder on the front...|
|... Han Solo and Chewbacca on the back.|
In my spree of "shopping because I am bored and this is Japan where we shop to kill time", I bought five t-shirts at Uniqlo in their new series of Japanese themed shirts. Two of them show kabuki mask designs, and are pretty cool. One has geisha, which is always nice, one has bamboo, and one is purple (I like purple).
Yesterday I got bored and ended up buying clothes for 50,000 yen out of boredom. So I guess I am turning more and more Japanese! I bought a leather jacket that was on sale (from 80,000 yen to 30,000 yen) since they had had a shipping mistake and ended up getting the jackets when the jacket season was over.
When I bought the jacket at this very cheap price, they also gave me a set of champagne glasses for free. Why a store that only sells clothes also has a stockpile of champagne glasses remains a mystery. They look pretty nice, one is golden and says "King" and the other is silver and says "Queen". And they were free. My friends took this chance to tell me: "Too bad you do not have a queen to share drinks with, though". They are nice that way.
When I paid for my jacket, one of the guys working there said: "You are a magician, right? Famous, right?" I wonder where he learned that? Because I am not actually famous.
|Normally, Fuchiko is not this big.|
In Japan there is a character called "Fuchiko of the cup" (コップのフチ子). Fuchiko sounds like a girls name, and is a pun on "fuchi" which means the rim of a glass or cup. This is a small plastic character that you can hang or place on the rim of glasses and it looks like she is climbing out of the glass, bathing in the drink, hanging on so as not to fall etc.
There is a Fuchiko exhibition here now, so I went to see that. They had lots of plastic models of course, but also many design drawings, information about the design process, and about the creator.
|The creator seems to be nuts, in a good way.|
There were also models with several of the spin-offs from Fuchiko. There is a Sokoko (from "soko", the base of the cup), who has her legs or other body parts crushed by the glass and works as a coaster. There is a girl that also works as earplugs, so when you sleep it looks like a tiny woman is stuck in your ear.
There were also DVDs with Fuchiko on sale. What does the plastic model do in these DVDs? Presumably posing in various places, since she cannot move...
|Fuchiko of the Cup|
|Sokoko of the Cup|
|Onsen (hot spring) Fuchiko from every famous onsen in Japan.|
|Fuchiko for cup noodles!|
|Strange related characters|
|Fuchiko together with other characters|
|Disney characters on the rim|
|Fuchiko dressed up as the Disney characters!|
|Fuchiko DVDs! What does she do in these?!|