@deerbambi 's post yesterday made me want to drink my rose royale! So I did a cold-steep (can't remember the proper name - it's 水出し in Japanese) overnight! This is my preferred way of drinking tea recently because despite years of people telling me not to, I don't like to drink hot stuff during summer.
Also, I finally noticed that my rose royale is finally about half of when I first bought it which was half "yay" and half "aw".
Went blueberry picking today!
I've been super 楽しみ about today because today is the day I go blueberry picking for the first time!!!!
The original tour I signed up for got cancelled but we found a farm via some sort of organisation we had to join when we started working so two friends and I set off!
It was super hard to find the place though. We got lost and ended up having to call the people and have them guide us :p
Thought this was the place but it's actually just the reception. Apparently they sent over some sort of documents but I don't recall receiving them so we had to pay full price 800 yen/person.
Off to the greenhouse!!!
And this is it! Not all the berries were ripe but there was enough for us to happily stuff ourselves!
There are basically two types of blueberries: brightwell
And powderblue. It sounds weird but there actually was a difference. In fact we could taste the difference between trees (bushes?)
Apparently you can pick the white ones (duh), red ones (duh) or the ones that aren't completely blue.
And yet some were still sour. It was interesting seeing the range of tastes there were!
And for some reason they look kind of like grapes?!
Ok last pic of the blueberries :p
It was really fun picking out the berries!
More went into my mouth than the basket cause it's eat all you want but they charge 350 yen/100g for the ones you take home.
Lots and lots of trees.
Though there was one tree that we all agreed had the best berries.
It was apparently 28.5 degrees in the place but it totally didn't feel like it! Was quite cool actually.
My berries! At first I only had 70 something grams then I went back and had 98g and my friend gave me one blueberry and then I got exactly 100 grams hahahaha.
Please give me ideas on how to use them! So far I'm thinking of having them with kefir!
Taken on the way back to the reception area
This really is the countryside haha
My face looks super wide here but my friends are cute (and they said I could post the pics)
Got a blueberry drink as well cause it looks good!!!
After that, we decided to head to a nearby gelato place for some handmade gelato and my friends were very amused with my fascination with the coin rice polishing station.
Apparently there is at least one in every countryside
The place! Sooooo cute!
The inside is really nice too!
Apparently the menu changes everyday so you can check their Twitter to see what the flavours of the day are!
They also sold handmade sausages and I ended up buying one 😅
Mine is the ridiculously big one because I couldn't decide which flavour to get :p
From left to right: Belgium chocolate, milk, chocolate mint
Middle: Royal Milk Tea
All the flavours were SO GOOD! I really want to go back but it's quite inconvenient. Maybe if I can get a few friends to go with me, the trip would be worth it? The market next to it is really cheap so maybe I could do grocery shopping there too.
Just came back from a takopa (takoyaki party) that was actually a surprise party for my friend!
Second time making takoyaki and first time doing a proper takopa! It was seriously fun and I'm sooooo full now.
Ended up getting this Disney princess lessons Book and some snacks for my friend! She seemed to like it so yay!
Book Review: Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling (translated by Herbert A. Giles)
This book was recommended to me from the Overdrive app/NLB ebook site, which is the main reason why my TBR is growing uncontrollably the past few days. Given that I've read very little Chinese fairytales/folklore compared to Western and even Japanese tales, I really wanted to read this book.
Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio consists of 164 tales from the 17th Century (I think? Author lived during that time) that involve supernatural creatures/occurrences and 4 appendixes.
The appendixes are about:
1. The Yuli Chao Zhuan (a term that seems to appear only in this book but looks to be about the 'chamber of horrors' in Taoist temples
2. Cultural notes on ancestral worship, bilocation, dreams and much more
3. The translator, Herbert Allen Giles
4. Suggested readings.
There are also pretty comprehensive and interesting footnotes, though sadly the book isn't formatted to allow for easy toggling back and forth (pity especially since this is an ebook).
As for the tales themselves, quite a few of them were very short and I didn't really get them. I did, however, really enjoy the longer tales, especially those about foxes (maybe because I have been writing about foxes?). Stories that I particularly enjoyed include:
The Painted Skin: about a man who 'rescues' a beautiful girl only to find that she's hiding a very dark secret
Miss Yingning; or, The Laughing Girl: a surprisingly happy story
The Virtuous Daughter-in-Law: where a nagging mother-in-law learns to appreciate her daughter in law in a very painful lesson
Danan in Search of his Father: where a family ended up being "reunited" in a way that completely changed the dynamics for the better.
And more that I forgot to bookmark. And I have no idea if I should be providing full summaries with spoilers or doing these attempts at summaries that don't give away the ending :p
While I generally enjoyed the book, it does have its flaws. It was first published in 1908 by a British national which means that the writing is a little stiff and at times uses very Western expressions like:
"You better call in Yunqi, and tell the fair Eloisa that her Aberlard is awaiting her"
Which feel very out of place given that these are Chinese stories set in China.
Still, if you're looking for Chinese folklore to read, it's worth reading this at least once. Most (if not all) of the tales were new to me and I enjoyed reading through the book.
P.s. There is one thing that I don't get. I'm not sure if it's a translation thing but in these stories people remarry and concubines are bought and sold pretty easily and I'm wondering if this is so. It seems like the concubinage thing might be so but the remarrying thing seems odd.
Anyone familiar with ancient Chinese customs and can let me know more about this/recommend some reading material about it? I did try Googling but I couldn't find much about it.
Saturday, 8 Jul 2017
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