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Hidemi’s Rambling No.61

It’s the season for a year-end party in Japan. It’s called ‘Bonenkai’ which means ‘a party to forget this year’. Too negative. During the course of a year, there should be something good to remember, at least a couple. So, my partner and I adapted a new party with a different concept. My partner even created a new word for its name. We call it ‘Obonenkai’ which means ‘a party to remember this year’. We threw it today. I found other different aspects in our party than the name. People have a ‘Bonenkai’ party with many colleagues and friends, over an expensive meal. Ours is just two of us, over half-price prepared foods that are left unsold at a grocery store. It’s just like my style- or let’s say, ‘Hidemish’…

Hidemi’s Rambling No.62

A coffee company send me a newsletter once a week. They assigned a number to each member upon sign-up, and pick a winning number for the prize of two thousand dollars every week. When I checked email today, I saw my number on the newsletter. I screamed with surprise and joy. My heart beat weirdly, sweat poured off. As I fixed my eyes, the newsletter showed my number as a reminder, not as a winning number. I didn’t win, of course. I buy a lottery ticket every week that you can win up to four million dollars. I learned today that I couldn’t survive if I won that kind of money, because two thousand dollars was enough to almost kill me…

Hidemi’s Rambling No.63

At a discount store, I found cans of soda on sale at five yen each – about six cents. Only six of them were left. My partner was pushing a shopping cart on the different aisle, and I had to secure the six cans lest anyone got them. After holding them in my arms, I walked toward my partner. He noticed me and for an instant, he seemed alarmed. He mistook me for a thief by my appearance. For fear of the flu, I usually put on a medical mask where people gather. Also in this case, I was holding goodies, hunched over, with a wicked smile in my eyes, somehow tiptoeing toward him. Maybe the deal was too good and made me feel like a thief…

Hidemi’s Rambling No.64

I went to a grocery store in a mall connected to the train station, aiming at half-price prepared foods. I have enough knowledge about the times they put on half-price stickers to what remain unsold according to stores. For this store, it is usually past 8:30 p.m. I arrived at the store at 8:45 p.m., the perfect timing. The shelf was full of half-price items. At the same time, I saw a notice about a liquidation sale of a different store in the mall. The sale was up to 50% off for everything but the store was closing for the day at 9 p.m. Two stores of a half-price sale for only one of me. I often shop without finding any sale items but when I find them, they come all at once. A mystery. I need one more me for sale shopping…

Hidemi’s Rambling No.65

People in Japan are everyday gourmets. They fuss over food all the time. Too sweet, too salty, too stringy or too dry. Even not so wealthy people are keen on taste. The TV shows on food are rampant all day long. People are willing to wait in line for hours in front of a small noodle restaurant. The shelf of prepared foods at grocery stores and supermarkets has a huge selection. Western, Japanese, Chinese, Italian, Korean, you name it. As for me, my tongue seems to appreciate pretty much anything. But ironically, I can’t get as much as I like because I watch my weight. Before a splendid view of a wide variety of prepared foods, I bear a grudge against myself who is so easy to gain weight…

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