Going to a museum named "Edo-Tokyo Open-air Architectural Museum" is one of my favorite times to take a rest. Surrounded by a number of old buildings, -some are European, some are Japanese, and the others are mixtures of their styles-, I could refresh myself, like 'Well, I'll do it again'.
I've never seen such a beautiful museum in my life so far. You could finish seeing everything within hours because of its compactness. Still, I even like it.
In spite of my feeling toward it, I always find few people there. Is it worthless to see? It's okay since I tend to see the value which people never take any glance.
On the way back to my home, suddenly the sky turned black, began to rain, and unfortunately I didn't have an umbrella. It was so heavy but I assumed it was going to stop sooner or later because I could see blue sky some part between gray cloud. I would have waited for a while, but I kept walking to my home. "It's been a while." I thought myself. I am a person bring my umbrella everywhere, especially in rainy seasons like now. It was not that bad to be wet sometimes.
The next day, I found the sun lighting to my room. It was beautiful morning, and moreover, it was Sunday, another holiday to me. It's always like this: happiness, sad, happiness, depression, and happiness.
I go to a city to get some letter paper to write today :)
Severe days of depression has finally gone, and I suppose I can start a fresh day today. I always feel I couldn't survive when I was down, as if it's the end of my life, and it sometimes looks way better killing myself than suffering forever. But there's no ending of my life only if I don't give up. It doesn't mean bad days will never engulf me though, let me just sit on my chair and take some rest for now. I don't have to be a big person, I know I can't be. However, I would like to be an honest person who can care for people around me.
Well...let's start again :)
Whenever I'm outing, I can't help sighing by seeing the situation in Japan. For example, when I go to a restroom, it sometimes has two big buttons to push. The one is for flushing the water, and another one is for emergency, like when you feel bad, push the button and clerks would rush to come. The problem is that people from abroad can't tell which is which because there are only Japanese cautionary statement on it. Sure, they sometimes have English one next to it though, there are few.
So, what do foreigners do? They could push the emergency button or leave without flushing involuntarily. Whichever they do, Japanese clerks think "This is foreigners.". I have to say, I detest this way of thinking. Without enough explanation and just say "Foreigners are all rude."??
Since I spent some time in abroad like Middle East, East Africa and so on, I could see how inconvenient foreigners would feel in Japan. When I was in Middle East, I was always helped by people around me. On streets, in buses, at stations. They even asked me before I called help: "Hey, what's up?" "I just....got lost."
They warmly tried to understand what I said, because basically they didn't speak English, and I barely speak Arabic. Within a few minutes, I was surrounded by a dozen of people, talking loudly about what they should do with gestures. Sometimes they brought me to the destination without kickback or anything. "Good luck, have a nice trip." they left.
This kind of thing hardly happens in Japan. I saw foreigners seems to be lost yet people just ignored them. Those Japanese might too busy to help them, or they could ignore due to their lack of skill for English. However, I won't be a such person.
It's difficult to define myself, you know, whether I'm a patriot or not. I always try to tell myself I'm neither patriot nor Japan hater. Truth be told, I'm not a patriot at all. Of course there are many things worth seeing in this country. Old local temples makes me feel I'm happy to be born, Autumn makes me sentimental yet I consider red leaves in the season as the gift to encourage me. And, I can't go without quality of sushi, once you eat fresh ones, you will never ever forget it. These are, like, unforgettable experiences.
There could be many reasons why Japan is so inconvenient for foreigners. Isolated islands, kept closing the country over 200 years... But they are not the problem anymore. You can fly easily to come, it's time to change.
I want my country to be a good one, at least better than now. If any Japanese will not try to make it, well, I will do it by myself.
There are a variety of toppings for Ramen, or noodle in Japan (I mentioned about ramen in this post before). It depends on restaurants and regions though, we eat ramen with green onion and egg. This time I would like to write how to make eggs for ramen. We call it "ni-tamago" by the way. "ni" stands for "boiled" and "tamago" means "egg" in Japanese. So...let's do it, shall we? :)
Firstly, find eggs to cook. In Japan, most sold eggs can eat raw (about raw eggs, see this post), but I don't think it needs to be such eggs since we are going to boil them. If you're not sure, ask the store. Then start heating water with pan.
Tip: When you cook boiled eggs, can you peel them easily? If you can't, here's something helps you. Just before dropping into the pan with boiled water, make a small hole on the bottom of the egg. Once you did it, drop it immediately to the boiled water. If you make a hole and leave without anything for a while, it won't work.
I put four eggs this time :)
"How long should I wait?" you might think. Well, it depends on the situation of eggs and your favorite. When I cook eggs taken from the fridge just ago, I wait about 8 minutes. If I put it in the warm kitchen in advance, it would takes 7 minutes and 30 seconds. Personally I like half-boiled eggs, this is my way. But if you want to make it well-done, wait another 2 minutes or so. You had better cook three times to find your own way.
While it's boiling, let's cook other things which makes boiled eggs tasty. This time I took soy sauce, mirin, or sweet cooking rice wine, and sugar.
Soy sauce 60ml
Sugar one teaspoon
It doesn't have to be fixed. I mean, this is for dipping. So if you have bigger reservoir, then keep the proportions the same and increase everything.
If you don't have neither soy sauce nor mirin, well, hmmm.... I know some people use the soup for instant ramen for making ni-tamago. (I'm not sure if it works though.)
Did you put all of ingredients in a pan? Then keep boiling it for a while (A few minutes) and leave it until it's cool down.
When you finish peeling and cool all eggs down, put the soup you just made and eggs in a reservoir, take it to the fridge for a day. That's all. When you eat it the next day, it will surely taste good :) It lasts about 4 days for summer in Japan, and a week in winter but make sure every now and then, because it's just in my case. It could be spoiled before that, so just keep an eye on it. You can keep eggs dipping until you eat it, but if you feel it's too strong taste, then remove the soup.
Okay, time to eat with ramen!
I decided to eat it with green onion this time.
Bean sprouts, boiled corn... It's totally up to you, use leftover vegetables in your fridge.
There are green and white part in green onion. Which color should we use? Well....whichever! I like white part when I was a kid, but recently I rather eat green one because of its strong taste.
Oh, I just remember. I also put pieces of chopped cabbages. I should have boiled it for seconds so that it is softer, but I forgot.
This is it :) I usually add grated garlic a little bit, however, I had to go to work so I didn't, haha.
Well, that's all this time. Do you think it's difficult to prepare ingredients such as soy sauce and mirin, or you can't wait for a day? If so, don't hesitate to eat ramen with a boiled egg. It's also good. I don't eat much ramen though, I always have this tasty boiled eggs in my fridge and eat one by one when I'm hungry. Hopefully you can enjoy cooking it ;)
Looks like a cake? Actually it's a sushi with salmon from Toyama prefecture (about there, see this post)! Since my ancestors lived there, I visit Toyama a few times a year. You can eat fresh fish there, but it was difficult back in Edo-era (1603-1868) to bring it to the distance, such as Edo (current Tokyo). So what did they do? They began to make salmon salting, possible to travel with it.
There are some stores where make traditional masu zushi in Toyama. They have their own ways of making though, they also have something in common. Look at the above picture. It's wrapped with a wooden box, and,
It is tied with elastics. When you loosen them, you can finally open the box :)
But it's wrapped again XD It's leaves of bamboo!
You can taste masu zushi not only in Toyama, but also other cities. If you find a place to get many kinds of Ekiben (about Ekiben, see this post :)) you might be able to find it because masu zushi is famous and popular as Ekiben too. Taste? I love this mixture of salmon and sour rice! :D