Friday, June 19, 2009

Swine flu has hit close to home and other news

Well, the weekend is here and I'm happy! I went out today and took this picture of the mountain we live near....beautiful!

We are supposed to be in the middle of "tsuyu" or rainy season but so far it has not rained much. This is bad since the rice needs the rain. As you can see from the pictures I took yesterday from work, the rice fields have been flooded and rice is being planted. Soon beautiful green rice will be everywhere! (It looks like a work at a jail with the wire in the glass windows...but I don't!)

You can tell that it is getting hot out when you see ladies using umbrellas to keep the sun off it isn't so much a concern about skin cancer but tanning....they HATE tanned skin here. I always hear my students' mothers talk about how "kuro" or dark their skin is due to the sun and then they touch my skin and say "iina!!" (means they are jealous) and then I have to tell them that only in Japan is my very white skin not embarrassing to me. I remember my dad telling me my legs looked like the underside of a dead fish....needless to say I spent a lot of money on tanning beds at one time in my life.

Well, swine flu has hit Fukuoka (the state I live in) and actually pretty close to where I live. Sadly, an exchange student from Australia brought it with her to an all girls school in the big city near me so the school has been closed and all students must stay home (one of my students was absent at my school because she goes to that school) so that is why today, when I went to the mall, I saw hand sanitizer on a table between the inner and outer doors to the mall. Also, the McDonald's' staff were all wearing face masks....they didn't look happy about it either but since this is the land of face masks, it wasn't that surprising.

This next picture I meant to put in my last blog entry but forgot. This is corn tea. Every time we go to our favorite yakiniku restaurant, they give us this stuff at the end and (to me) it is pretty awful. I am assuming they roast corn and then make a tea out of it. Which reminds me of another tea I hate in Japan which is "mugicha" or "wheat tea" . Wheat tea is a summer drink and frankly reminds me of an ashtray. Anybody ever had it and liked it? Thankfully there are other teas I love to drink!!


Pili said...

Yeah, the whole craving for white skin is something that surprised me so much too my first time in India... and truth be told it still does. The contrast between people over here, and the US and Canada tanning by all means, self-tanning creams, and then going to India, and see the bleaching creams and the like...

Makes you wonder why we keep on wishing we were what we aren't!

Saint said...

I like my super white skin haha, I don't want to bother with tanning. Luckily nobody cares about my skin tone here.

Oh mugi tea, yeah at first I thought "Is this charcoal??" but then I got used to it. I can see how it could be refreshing.

Jennifer Rose said...

those teas sound horrible :/

I am as white as a sheet but have lots of freckles :p That table wouldn't last a day in the mall here, someone would have nicked it pretty fast and left the hand sanitizer behind :p

Grace said...

Oh - my mom is always about the white skin thing, but seeing as though I live in Vancouver... really, really impossible. I tan naturally, so I can't get any whiter... =( Most noticeable when I take my flip flops off =)

Yikes! I know the H1N1 is so scary. I honestly have to say though, I haven't heard much more over here... then again, I haven't been watching or reading about the news lately busy looking after the kids......

hmmm... would love to give that tea a try!!

Anuan said...

Thanks for giving the info about the white skin. I was really confused when I saw ladies wearing gloves all the way up to their armpits. And scarves wrapped around their neck.
It is way to hot to wear all that fabric.

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Man that Swine flu is everywhere. Apparently I am now considered to be living in the Swine Flu capital of the world!
I do love that there are some places where our palour is regarded as lovely, there should be more of it. I've never really tried to tan, but in the last few years i have taken to carrying a parasol all summer to preserve it. And it is cheaper than forking our for wrinkle cream!

chinamommy said...

when i adopted my daughter from China the people were crazy over her white skin, i didn't realize how coveted it was! Even the bio i got about her mentioned her "pure white skin", they would be so sad to see her TINY tan she now has :) I'm 40 now so i use 70 block 365 days a year, who cares about a BROWN prune face- haha!

Marcia said...

Hi there. Your blog is wonderful. I linked to mine. Waiting you stop by. All the best! Marcia

FromJapanWithLove said...

Hi everyone!
Pili-I hear ya!! I wonder if I will feel weird being so white when I go back to Canada in August?

Saint-I never got used to the smell or taste of mugi tea!

Jennifer-mugi tea is terrible!! And I laughed about someone stealing the table!! Funny thing is that these tables with hand sanitizers keep popping up as more schools close near by.

Grace-totally jealous of you in Vancouver in the summer!!!!! And you aren't missing anything by not drinking that tea!

Anuan-glad I cleared that up for you!! It is strange seeing them all covered up when basically it feel like we are living in the Amazon!

Superkawaiimama-you would fit right in here with your parasol!!! And ladies would be touching your skin all the time!!

Chinamommy-I hear my students mom complain bitterly about their kids being dark or their new baby not being light is very sad to me! Gotta love them as they are!

Marcia-I'm going to check out your blog soon!

Anonymous said...

mugi cha is barley tea not wheat tea...


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