Old Stomping Grounds

Thanks to Myia for letting me chill out at her apartment and use the SunLife Building Internet!

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Waa! It’s so crazy being back. And exciting. I’ve been busy as all get-out. Today is Yuco’s day off. So, in a few minutes when she’s finished with her volunteer work cutting hair at the old folks’ home, she’ll be by and we’re going to grab a bite to eat and then head over to the venue where we hope to have our wedding reception in February.

It’s a place called Napoleon, which is a pretty nice cocktail lounge in Kure’s lovely “downtown” area. The owner of the place is a customer of Yuco’s, and we had considered throwing a big going away party there last summer when I was getting ready to leave for Canada for the first time. That never actually happened. But it would definitely be decent venue for some dancing and drinking and snacking after the more formal festivities on Miyajima. Also, it would be open to many more guests than the formal dinner in the hotel on the island adjacent to the temple on the Seto Inland Sea.

There’s a hole in the bottom of the sea!

It’s unclear whether or not the owner of Napoleon will be able to provide us with the space for free or what we’ll be able to afford in terms of a cash bar or open bar. Maybe we’ll be able to convince the guy to rent us the space for free since there will be so many folks drinking and eating there? Not sure. Maybe we could have some sort of nomihoudai (all you care to drink) experience for a reasonable price? Maybe…

What would we be without wishful thinking?

Spent nearly all day yesterday around the house. Cooking a little bit. Actually, it’s been lovely picking up the odd recipe from Yuco’s mother. Yesterday it was a simple “country” noodle soup served chilled with udon. Yummy! Later on in the evening, I met Yuco on the way home from her work and we walked back to her house together, which was most pleasant. And for dinner we had the noodle soup along with grilled pig intestines and octopus sahimi– how did I forget the octopus!?!

Two days ago, Yuco and I went down early to a small time morning fish market that some local fishermen put on during certain parts of the year. It was kind of neat. And actually a local TV station was there making a big deal out of the fact that this tiny local market had attracted the likes of a foreigner such as me, blah blah blah. But we bought a few things as presents, including some yummy tempura squids, shrimps and a delicious local sardine, plus a couple of octopuses and some reconstituted fish cakes.

So, it was my job to prep the octopus. Luckily it was completely dead after sitting in the fridge overnight. But it was still pretty stinky. And the first job was to massage the damn thing vigorously with salt until this grey goop began its osmotic seep through all of the poor crustacean’s membranes. So, that was the worst of it. Once it was done leaking grey, and nice and tender, I washed it off, and it was ready to boil. It pretty quickly turned deep purple- red, like so many of its crustacean brethren in the hot pot. And after arranging its stiffening tentacles into neat spirals, and boiling for 10 minutes or so, it was mostly done. The only step remaining was to drain it of its ink, which, thankfully, Yuco’s mother took care of in the sink. Then it was back in the fridge, and ultimately sliced up and served alongside a garden salad of lettuce, tomato, cucumber and broccoli. Yay!

OK. Yuco is going to be here any minute now, so I had better pack up and get ready to go.

More soon.  Including photos.  I promise.

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