March 31, 2019
I started to wash my clothes at 6:30 a.m. I use half detergent and half baking soda when I wash my clothes. No neighbors would like hearing the washing machine on Sunday morning at 6, but allow me! I don’t like to listen to the sound either.
I put on the same clothes I’ve always worn in winter for a couple years, and then made bancha. I was thinking about tomorrow. Tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. all Japanese people will watch their TVs. I have one but I never watch but tomorrow I will because the new emperor’s era is coming and the name of the era will be announced tomorrow. It’s the one and only custom left here in Japan. On May 1st there will be a new emperor. It’s funny that they will announce it on April Fool’s… Anyway, I guess it’s a big deal. Japanese emperors are rooted not only to the old kingdom or king, but it’s said they’re rooted to some kind of god from a Japanese myth…! So the emperor’s soul shouldn’t be human. We have that in the center of our history and culture, it’s so superstitious.
After drying my clothes I went to a bakery. People there said yesterday was crazy busy because of the cherry blossom season. There is a famous cherry blossom site near our neighborhood where a river goes along with sakura trees. This season it’s busy. At the bakery, they said there is a new luxurious Starbucks nearby so people go there first then walk along the river coming to the bakery. Why do people want to drink coffee and see sakura??? Drink matcha!!! I’m super Japanese sometimes. I don’t drink coffee.
The cherry blossoms are like 50 to 60 percent blooming now. I haven’t really been out to see them. It’s just, they’re everywhere, so I see them here and there. But it’s been cloudy so their pink white petals don’t really speak up under the white sky. We need blue. I’ve heard there is a high-end legendary sandwich restaurant here closing down soon. They open at 11 a.m. and all of their breads are gone by 11:45 a.m. at this time of year. How can they stay open until 5 p.m. without any breads??? The cherry blossom season is that of a big deal here.
This year the flower came to pop earlier than usual. Some of the places are in full bloom this weekend. I believe the government used a new technology to make Japan warmer than usual so sakura popped into full bloom for the right moment, celebrating the announcement of the new era. It’s that big of a deal. Japan is in a moment now.
I came back home and boiled garland chrysanthemums, and mixed them with tahini paste, sugar, vinegar, and sake. I ate a piece of bread with it and had dekopon (Japanese orange) too. I turned on the TV and there was an 18 year-old girl BMX rider riding and jumping on the ground. She’s aiming to be selected for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. She said there are only 24 people attending the games from all over the world, and maybe one person from Japan if they’ re good enough.
Sunday is my grocery day and I went on my bicycle. When I passed the river I checked the sakura at a glance. Then I took a wrong path that made me lose maybe a couple minutes. Here in Tokyo that couple minutes can be fatal. I was like, shit! Then tried to get back that two minutes. I pedaled two times faster and arrived at a supermarket. They open at 9:30, and I got there 9:35. I was late. I got assam tea, capers, nampulas and Vietnamese noodles which I’ve never gotten before. But I decided to give it a try. I was in the mood for pho! I moved to the farmers’ market and then got fresh vegetables. It seemed spring mountain vegetables were coming, so the next week I would try tempura with them.
This week I just got random stuff and then biked back as fast as I could then got home and cooked Brussels sprouts with just olive oil and salt. Simple is the best kind of thing. But I wanted just a little punch, so I was wondering, anchovies? No, red pepper? No. Then I remembered last night my mom gave me Chinese red Sichuan pepper, so I was like that’s it! Then I used some. It was the perfect quickest lunch for me. I ate it with 2 pieces of bread, that bread was three bucks for a half loaf. I spent $20 for vegetables. I only do the grocery shopping once a week on Sunday and then I feed myself from it. The farmers’ market only opens for weekend here and the supermarket vegetables are not as fresh, so that’s the best way. I’ve found the vegetables from the farmers’ market live longer.
I was aiming to get to a sound studio to mix my sounds at 11:30. To do that I didn’t have enough time to wash my teapot. Though I never leave my plates greasy in my sink, never, the teapot is ok, it’s safe. I got on my bicycle and took off. Again I passed the river, and this time lots and lots of people were going out from the station to see sakuras. I almost hit all those people who were taking pictures in front of the river with my bicycle. Surely the sakura was blooming more than yesterday, but the sky was still white.
When I got the sound studio, it was 11:30, on time. It was the first time the sound person let me use their studio by myself. They gave me a code for the key lock and everything but when I got there I realized I didn’t know the code for the main entrance. It was closed because it was Sunday. I called the sound editor and she didn’t pick up so I texted another editor. Then no reply…I was there for five minutes maybe, then someone came to the door and put the code for the entrance. She definitely gave me a suspicious glance I went in with her, then into the elevator…She gave me the glance again and asked me which floor I was going to. I told her the 9th with some confidence to let her know I was not a stranger and trying to attack her. She seemed a little relieved after that and got off at the 4th floor. I successfully got to the studio and worked there till 7 p.m., then went home.
My mom gave me steak meat last night so I cooked it and made mashed potato too. Then I cut some red bell peppers and just ate them raw. I wanted to go out tonight, before knowing the new era’s name. I wanted a private sakura night, going to my favorite spot around midnight. That sounded so romantic. I wondered if I should take a walk all the way or bike to somewhere and park. I was thinking back and forth and one of my actress friends texted our friends’ circle saying the drama she’s in was airing now. I turned on the TV and started to watch it. I couldn’t find her for 30 minutes or so. Then it was kind of cold so I put myself in my sleeping bag then kept watching but she didn’t show up. Then I got a text from my mom saying that friend is on TV now and I was like… huh? Then I realized I fell asleep for that moment, and then I couldn’t help myself went to sleep thinking sa ku ra…