04 April, 2017

A delivered dinner

We had Chinese food delivered for my birthday dinner. That is a very unusual thing to do for us. In fact in nearly 20 years of marriage I can barely think of a time when we've had a meal delivered, except, perhaps, pizza at a friend's house in Australia. I cook the vast majority of our evening meals (David does breakfast and lunch usually). Neither of us grew up in households that ever had delivery meals either.

My only "rule" about my birthday is that I don't cook dinner. I guess someone else could, but no one's ever volunteered. In recent years we would go out. But last night, the first day back at school, I felt it was important to stay home. As it was, the younger two didn't get home till after 5.30 from athletics training. It took our youngest till 9pm to get through everything including homework, a shower, stripping his bed and putting new sheets on (a fortnightly job), before he could hop in bed. And no, he wasn't efficient in his use of time. 

Having a delivery meal in Japan was an interesting experience. I don't have much to compare it to, but I can't imagine Australian delivery including dishes that needed to be collected by the restaurant after use. For that matter, I can't imagine a restaurant coming back to pick up said dishes! 

First we had to interpret the photo of a handwritten menu that a friend gave me (it's a small restaurant). Then look up a word or three on my Japanese-English app, including "delivery"—not having done this before it's not in our active vocab. Then David called them. In the middle of his conversation a long thunderclap rolled and the heavens opened in a rare April thunderstorm. Within half an hour a man pulled up in a raincoat  on his scooter with our food in a metal case which he unloaded in our entry. It was all in ceramic dishes with cling wrap over each dish. They also provided disposable chopsticks. I cooked the rice. 

We ate, and enjoyed (with complaints from one fussy boy who ended up completing his meal voluntarily with a PB sandwich, another boy said it was okay but not as good as food I cook :D). David washed up the restaurant's dishes and then this morning he put them in this bag outside our front door.

A friend from Australia called me for my birthday yesterday afternoon and was surprised to hear we were having a Chinese for dinner. It hasn't occurred to me that it was odd, no more odd than having Chinese food in Australia. But I can see her perspective. Tokyo really has quite an array of cuisine choices. We've eaten Korean, Indian, Mexican, Italian, Egyptian, and, of course American (McDonald's, for example) here. And that is a family that doesn't eat out very much, although I think we eat out a lot more often here than in Australia. 

There are always new things to experience and learn when you're living in another culture. Certainly it's hard to get bored. Sometimes the idea of being able to relax and risk boredom is attractive. But most of the time I love the life I live, especially as someone who plots constantly to stave off boredom.

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