20 June 2010

O tanjoubi desu

Kyo wa boku no tanjoubi desu.  Today's my birthday!  And almost everything I planned to do today, I was able to do. As well as some that I didn't plan to do.  I planned on having lunch at Denny's but because I was running late for mass, I didn't push through with it.  Instead I thought of having a quick "snack" of Whopper Jr - but I regret not getting a Whopper instead which was just 80 yen more expensive (610 vs 690 yen meal set cost).  Anyways, I am thankful that the English mass here in Atsugi is on the 3rd Sunday of each month - very near my birthday week and in fact today, exactly on my birthday.

After mass I went to get a haircut at the Hon-Atsugi station's "QB cuts" - 1000 yen for 10 minutes.  For just 500 pesos (1000 yen, $10), you get a no-frills haircut in 10 minutes.  It's the cheapest haircut you can get anywhere in Japan, or at least in or around Tokyo.  Actually, the haircut itself takes 10 minutes, but the wait takes a long time.  I was the 8th in line when I got there which meant around a 20 minute or so wait.  One of my fellow students said he tried getting a haircut there, but the girl who cut his hair only told him "study Japanese first."  I was afraid of being told the same thing, so I came prepared.  I brought with me a picture of me with the haircut I wanted.  Midway through the haircut, it was looking good, just as I had hoped, and even better.  But I think the girl haircutter was trying to even up the haircut (but my head surface isn't even) and so in the end, it ended up a little shorter than what I had hoped for.  That's what you get for only 500 pesos / 1000 yen / $10.

Right after mass I went back to Atsugi Trellis where I left my bicycle earlier, and did some grocery shopping. Total bill was over 5000 yen.  I bought me a pizza, another Japanese-style one, with shrimp, sliced tomatoes, onions, and... eggs!  I ate it for dinner.  Nice.  While I was eating I was also cooking.  I prepared 3 dishes: nilagang baboy, tinolang manok, and adobong baboy.  For the tinola, the usual ingredient is green papaya, but I can't find any so an alternative would have been to use sayote or chayote.  I wasn't sure what it looked like, and I wasn't sure if there were any here and what is its Japanese name, but I found something that didn't look like cucumber and so I thought it might be sayote.  While slicing it I thought, oh no, this looks like cucumber.  But after cooking, it looked like sayote!  The tinola looks like the real thing...  Hopefully it tastes like the real thing.  One other ingredient that I wasn't able to use was chili plant leaves (dahon ng sili) so I settled with using chili itself.  For the nilaga, I had so much veggies!  Which is a good thing of course.  But this time, I used tanlad (lemon grass) instead of onions.  Midway through the boiling, I thought, "oh no, is this beef I bought, and not pork???"  But anyway, it looks more like pork than beef.  Great!  Although, I wouldn't have minded if I bought beef instead.  The adobo looks great as well.

This day was so packed and I was so tired, I didn't have time to pass by school anymore.  But I am very thankful for a new year in my life, and for all the blessings that have come and are to come my way.

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