One of the first meals I made for myself in Japan was curry, because I was so glad to see something familiar on the shelves. Of the four things I ask of food - tastiness, cheapness, easiness and healthiness - it satisfies the first three. I can recognize "curry" on the box, because it's in katakana - ka-re - but I should really learn the kanji for "hot" and "mild" because the box I grabbed most recently was like a bonfire inside my mouth.
Yesterday I had this strange feeling of - not pride, perhaps, but satisifaction - which is something for me. While buying vinegar and baking soda, of all things, because the previous occupant left the drains in a terrible state. And I thought, "I'm doing all these little household tasks by myself for the first time. I'll get my first paycheck in less than a week, and with it my rent will be paid and my utilities. I'll buy my food and I'll cook it and I'm doing everything." I'm not quite a grown-up, but I'm not as helpless as I and others think I am. And while I still owe people far too much, and won't be able to pay them back for a long time - if ever - I'm not going to let myself get further into debt to anyone.
My first experiment with the toaster oven was a simple green tea cake. Unfortunately, I neglected to take into account that a toaster oven will burn the top of anything taller than, oh, a piece of toast.
Song of the day: Sweet, gentle, slightly old-fashioned, "Ai Ai Gasa" is the third release from duo Tegomass, who are part of the group NEWS. I like to describe them collectively as the sort of boys I'd take home to meet my mother - friendly and positive, natural and relaxed, a breath of fresh air in the interesting world of Japanese music. This is the aural version of comfort food, as fits a duo whose first single was called "Miso Soup". This title means "Love Love Umbrella" - I know, sickeningly cute, right? - as it's the symbol of romance to walk together under one umbrella. We're on the brink of the dreaded "rainy season" so I want to keep some pleasant reminder when it starts to get unbearable.
Now, excuse me while I try to resurrect what I can of my dessert.