Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Eve has arrived in Japan!

Incredibly, just one year after the last Christmas Eve, we have another.  It's a clear, cold day here in Shizuoka prefecture.  This morning a couple of huge crows shouting at each other greeted me as I left our apartment for work.  Christmas crows, I suppose.  I don't like to stand underneath a crow because I feel they're smart enough and wicked enough to poop on someone's head deliberately.  These two went from wire to wire, aggravating each other.

There are a lot of crows and pigeons here.  Sometimes they interact, such as the time a friend and I watched from our table at an Indian restaurant as across the street a crow murdered a pigeon by repeatedly pecking it in the abdomen.  What does this morbid memory have to do with Christmas Eve morning?  Ask the crows.

Over the weekend we watched quite a bit of Japanese television, and most of the shows we watched featured Christmas decorations.  Christmas trees, hosts and guests in Santa hats.  Even omnipresent Funasshi, that weird pear thing "yuru-kyara" ("wild character") from Funabashi, Chiba, wore a Santa hat yesterday while a sushi chef sliced a large sushi roll of some kind with kana characters inside and then a couple of pictures of Funasshi itself.

Which Funasshi ate after one of the hosts inserted it into the back of its jiggly green head.

It's hard not to be in the Christmas spirit (or some strange variation thereof) when you watch things like that.  For me, anyway.  I find the weirdness very appealing.

Anyway, I'm at the office now even though I have nothing to do.  Working on Christmas Eve is no big deal for me.  One year I worked on Christmas Day, which was odd.  Here in Japan, even though the holiday has grown in popularity, it's not an official one.  It's just fun and romantic for young couples, a time for cute costumes and pretty decorations and even seasonal music in the stores.  Next week is the big event.

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