Friday, November 28, 2008

Food and Fortune

Jack's parents are here and we had a chance to sightsee for a day sans kids. They all had school, so Jack took the day off. We visited an older part of Tokyo called Asakusa. I read about getting your fortune at the Temple for 100Yen. I was game. I threw my coins in a slot, shook a metal box until a wooden stick came out. Of course I watched a Japanese guy do this first before I attempted it. On your stick are some Japanese characters which you then match to one of the drawers you see behind me. You open the drawer and pull out the piece of paper with your fortune. Mine read #3 Bad Fortune Luck. This ought to be good. As I read it, it just kept getting worse, so I'll give a few highlights:
First sentence, 'Although you do your best and sincerity to others, it's useless just like burning incense to the sky.' Great. There's more. 'Your wishes will not be realized. Making a trip will not be good. Building a new house and removal are both half fortunate.' I am doomed.
Here I just read the part of my fortune that said, 'Marriage or employment must be stopped.' And then, 'The person you are waiting for will show up after a long while!'

When people are unhappy with their fortune, they tie them on these bars. Mine was too funny to hang.

The Sensoji Temple in Asakusa - the oldest in the world ( I think I read that), built in the 7th century although this one needed some rebuilding post WWll.

Here is our lunch - literally. We went to a Japanese sushi place where all the food passes by you on a conveyor belt and you take what you want. Maybe these are in the states, but I never ate much sushi before, well, I still don't. I am really trying, but I ate the sushi with the fermented bean something and almost gagged, and all I had to wash it down with was hot green tea - so green - green like the grinch green. You can watch a little video down below, not of me gagging. When you finish one plate you stack another plate of food on top of it. When you are finished they use some gizmo with one click that calculates how much you ate. I had four plates, most Japaneses were pushing stacks of 10 or more. Baby steps. It's only been 3 months.

By the way, I thought the tank of fish was for decoration, then I watched them scoop out the fish. We didn't see how they altered the fish before it passed by us nicely filleted over some rice.

You know what your plate of food costs based on the plate it sits on - see wall hanging. I think the woman was not happy I was taking a picture of her.


JUDY WENDT said...

what is some of that stuff on the conveyer belt?

Brigitte said...

hairy crab, salmon roe, all kinds of fish i won't eat, egg, fruit, other sea creatures, eel, octopus, i was not full when i left -

ssmurray said...

All I could think of was Scott being grossed out by the possibility of germs- a cough here, a sneeze a little later down the line. How do they know how long that raw fish has been circulating? I'm sure they have a method.

Love the whole system with the fortunes; so much more fun than just reading it in the paper! Is it just for fun or do people seem to really believe it?

Brigitte said...

Never crossed my mind...they are so clean in this city...many are walking around with masks now as they get colds

Brigitte said...

they seeme to take their fortune telling seriously as well as all of the other coin tossing and bowing and praying and incense washing going on at the Shrines and Temples

Anonymous said...

How did you know what it said (the fortune)-- was it in english or did someone translate for you? I would have run screaming from the place. I'm wondering about your decision not to tie your fortune on the fence like everyone else-- does it "break" the fortune when you "leave it behind" or maybe what you did was smarter because you didn't do what everyone else did and took it with you(naughty,non-conforming American). I'm superstitious about that stuff.

JUDY WENDT said...

By the way, your haircut looks great!

Brigitte said...

Gretchen - It was in Engrish as well as Japanese. I HAD to keep it, to see if it comes true of course. And also to remember what it said so I could tell all of you :) I figure I already had a bomb drop a couple years back. Things should be good now right? At least I can keep telling myself that.

Eric said...

Look at your cute new sassy haircut!