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Osaka: June 16

Just stayed in yesterday, ducking the alleged storm, though it wasn't that bad in the end. Some rain and thunder. Re-read a lot of Gunnerkrigg Court, read about hyperpolyglots and curbside management.

Today W and I had ramen, then came back to watch the latest anime version of Legend of the Galactic Heroes. So fun for me but not a lot to tell y'all about. Our table condiments included a jar of garlic paste and a jar of something that looked like green onion kimchee -- green onions and red bits and a fermented look to it all.

One thing about Japan is lots of tiny shrines you'll run across. I wondered if one was Shinto or Buddhist, and W pointed out the swastika -- excuse me, manji -- marking it as Buddhist.

I'm apparently in walking distance of the tallest building in Japan, so that's a thing to check out.

I found Camembert in Japan! I was surprised. If it's an import it was thoroughly re-labled. It's also triple-wrapped: you open the cardboard box, and there's a plastic tub; you open the plastic tub, and the mini-wheel of cheese is wrapped in clingy plastic.

I have a bag of "candy-style cheese". It had looked like a bag of cheese curds. Kind of, but more regular in shape -- a bit like a small Reese's cup -- and *each one* is wrapped in twisty plastic, like hard candy. Japan is a terrible country for pursuing a minimal-packaging lifestyle.

(These cheese itself seems normal, not sweet; some semi-soft white cheese like cheddar.)

I have cooked! Well, I boiled pasta and put sauce and cheese on it. But assembling a meal and putting it on a plate, rather than just eating supermarket packages, is a step toward feeling at home in a kitchen. Oh, and there was a sieve after all. No can opener in either kitchen, though.

I passed a Denny's on the walk home. I did not expect that.

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Damien Sullivan
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