Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Merry Christmas! (That's Japanese for Merry Christmas.)
This is going to be the weirdest Christmas of my life. Not just because it's the first Christmas when I can complain about the smell of fungus, coming from beneath my futon, or because we've got a tree - see above - that cost 100 yen (about 60 pence), or even because because I'll be able to take a train and go to the convenience store and do the things I do every day. No, it's the absence of all that's familiar at Christmas that is going to make this year's Xmas weird: my family, a roast dinner (kind of difficult when you don't have an oven), hyper-excited children, Quality Street, the Christmas NME, Christmas editions of TV shows, especially Top of the Pops (and I haven't even heard the Christmas No.1 this year, though maybe I'm not missing much) and the Queen's Speech. (That last one was a joke.) Anyway, we're going to have an as-near-to-normal-as-possible Christmas Eve. We have a bottle of wine, loads of nice cheese, two slices of the most expensive cake in the world, and a slushy Christmas vid, Sleepless In Seattle.

As we were cycling home from the supermarket this afternoon I saw two Japanese guys dressed as Santa and Rudolph. Rudolph was smoking a fag. I rushed out with the camera but they'd gone. Maybe they're preparing to deliver presents to kids here before heading towards Europe. So if you hear the sound of coughing from the rooftop, or if Santa looks a bit skinnier and more, well, Japanese than normal, don't be surprised.

Have added a couple of links to other blogs about Japan on the left - proof that I'm not as original as I hoped...