Tuesday, March 14, 2006

White Day

By the time I rose out of bed this morning I'd almost listened to the whole of "A Rush of Blood to the Head" by Coldplay, which meant I was late. If I'd got out of bed by track 5, "Clocks", I probably would have been alright, but my body stubbornly refused to move until track 11, "Amsterdam" - in terms of lateness, this meant I would have to fore go eating a bowl of muesli with my toast, and put off shaving until tomorrow. Depending on shower speed, it was also a possibility that I wouldn't have time to lace up my Converse boots, and would instead have to wear my Adidas slip-ons. I groggily stumbled onto the landing...
"F**king hell!!!" I exclaimed as I looked out of the window.
That's right ladies and gentlemen, the snow's back, and how. When I drove home from Sabae last night I got in at about 10pm, and there was no snow on the ground. Admittedly, there was a bit of snow in the air, but none of it was settling. Yet when I woke up this morning, I couldn't see my car. Forty centimetres of snow. Overnight. All plans to wear Converse boots were forgotten as I once again dug out my Wellington boots and reached for the shovel...
Appropriately enough, today is White Day in Japan (the words "pathetic" and "fallacy" spring to mind). White Day falls exactly a month after Valentine's, and today is when all the men who were given presents by women on Feb 14th repay the favour by giving boxes of chocolate to the object of their affection. Or their "unaffection", as the case may be - often employees will exchange chocolates with each other and with their bosses, even if they would rather see the receiver run over by a bus. Chocolate of this kind is called "giri-choco" ("obligation chocolate") - for that special moment when you just want to say, "I hate your guts but I'm giving you this chocolate anyway because everyone else in the office has given you some and I don't want to lose face. Please do me the favour of choking on it."
Interestingly, today is also "Black Day" in South Korea. The traditions of Valentine's Day and White Day are also celebrated in Korea, but there's an informal tradition on March 14th where single people who didn't receive any Valentine's or White Day gifts get together and eat jja-jang myeon (noodles with black bean sauce - hence "Black Day"). Then they moan about being single, presumably.
Anyway, back in Asahi the snow's still coming down, and, unbelievably, it looks like I will once again have to dig the entire road behind my house to move my car. Damn you Mother Nature! Why do you taunt me so?!? Spring? Remember that? HEL- LOW!!! Are you listening?!?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, it's ridiculous. Don't dig out your car, it's totally gonna melt soon. Eat those combini sandwiches to sustain your life, it's gonna be like 85 degrees tomorrow.

1:12 pm  
Blogger Phoenix said...

Today was graduation day at my visiting school, which meant I had to dig my car out, just to get to work. It was a very good thing that:

A) I happened to have left my alarm clocks set to the same "come-early" time as yesterday's graduation at Asahi, which meant I had an extra 30 minutes at least.
B) My awesome neighbors happened to be out and about shoveling their own driveway when I came out. They took one look at me in my fine black graduation suit and came over and helped me dig out. I love them.

Footnote, it's STILL snowing...

1:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep the mystery of Japan's seasons. How can a country that is soooo hot in the summer be soooo cold in the winter?

6:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Traditionally Spring doesn't begin in the Northern hemisphere until the vernal equinox on 20/21 March although the UK Met Office, on the grounds of statistical simplicity, now states it begins on 1st March. Maybe they should have a look at Japan's experiences cos it sure still looks/feels like winter to me. Dad

1:08 am  
Blogger lemaiz said...

So I guess you were late then...

8:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incidentally, White Day is also Pi Day. The third month, and fourteenth day? 3.14? Geddit?

Jeez, I'm such a maths geek.

Luff Kahra.

6:59 pm  

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