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June 10th, 2007

At last I’m out of the “death” age. In Japanese, “42” can be pronounced “Shini,” which is the same as “death.” So I dodged a bullet there, having turned 43 a few days ago. (The age 33 is probably no better, being homonymous with “sanzan,” or “misery” in Japanese–which is why there are no rooms 33 or 42 in Japanese hospitals, just like there are few or no 13th floors in the U.S.) Here is the proof of my passage: my birthday cake, which Sachi so kindly arranged:




For Japanese cake, it was excellent; Sachi said the bakery was famous in the area, and I don’t doubt it. But Japanese cakes are made with whip-cream frosting; frosting based on powdered sugar and butter are pretty much unheard of in Japan–too sweet. Nevertheless, the cake was delicious, and even better was the message board–white chocolate… mmmmm….

We also had a nice couple of dinners. For my birthday, some fancy marbled steaks and Sachi’s famous salad (or at least it should be famous)…


We did no worse tonight, two days later, with a very satisfying yakiniku layout, accompanied by another of Sachi’s great salads:


But two nights ago, on my birthday, I got the real treat. As with most men in my family, I am notoriously hard to buy a present for. And yet, Sachi hit the whole gift thing nail-on-the-head, getting me a very cool new backpack. I swear, just the previous day, I had been saying to myself, time for a new backpack, but where can I find a good one? And there was Sachi, with just the answer.


I’ve got it sweet here.

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  1. Andy
    June 11th, 2007 at 01:28 | #1

    Oh man I had no idea youre that old/young. In any case, happy birthday! lol

  2. ykw
    June 11th, 2007 at 05:22 | #2

    Congrats !!!

    I’m 43yo too !!!

  3. June 11th, 2007 at 05:50 | #3

    Hey Luis, happy belated b-day. It caught my eye since my own 35th was yesterday (6/9) and I wondered if we had the same day or not?

    Anyhoo– I posted previously about 2 or 3 weeks ago when you put up shots of your move. I had wanted to ask why were you moving? But my post got caught in your spam because I sent you a link to Tokyo’s “Freecycle” group c/o Yahoo groups. I just thought if there was anything you couldn’t get rid of, someone there might put it to use. I remember when I moved videos were popular nostaligic bits and wanted to make the suggestion.

    So, why did you move anyway?

    And finally, while it is no business of mine to comment I don’t get the feeling you’ll mind: I think your posts about your wife’s food and presents and such are really interesting. First of all, it is clear you guys are head over heels for each other. But that is not what makes it interesting for outside observers. The intersting thing is to hear about how another fella’s Japanese wife thinks of him, cares about him. Usually guys just puff their pride and tell stories. But these pictures you take are priceless. It offers a nice contrast to my living situation. Not the same by any stretch but still…complementary. And I like being exposed to the complementary perspective. So it is where to see someone post about this and that’s what makes it kind of cool: a brief window into you and yours’ life.

    well, anyway, all the best as always.


    PS- after reviewing your post rules I think my previous post got caught because I put http in front my own website. oh well.

  4. ben
    June 11th, 2007 at 05:51 | #4

    Happy birthday! Nice backpack.

    Off topic: I’m planning to make that tofu/ground beef dish you posted a while back sometime soon. It looked tasty.

  5. June 11th, 2007 at 08:48 | #5

    Everyone: thanks very much for the messages of good will! It was a nice birthday.

    Ben: enjoy the dish–it’s tasty!

    Chris: sorry about the spam filter–putting “xxx” is OK in the URL box, just not in the main message (I just did it now by placing filler text then swapping it out in the moderation stage). Please try to repost if you can, or at least email me the address–sounds worthwhile for me.

    As for why I’m moving, it’s because Sachi and I are moving in together. Her place is close in to central Tokyo but is pretty small; mine is big, but kind of far out (I live in Inagi, south of Fuchu, on the eastern edge of Tama). So we decided to pool our rent money and look for a place that’s big and close to central Tokyo–which is what we found. The new place is a shade less than our current combined rents (the Ikebukuro place is about 250,000 yen/mo. including the maintenance fee).

  6. Tim Kane
    June 11th, 2007 at 09:15 | #6

    Happy b-lated Birthday!

    The food looks great, as does the back pack.

    Sweet, indeed!

  7. Brian B.
    June 11th, 2007 at 09:49 | #7

    Happy Birthday Luis!

    Thanks for your blog.


  8. Anonymous
    June 11th, 2007 at 10:35 | #8

    I’ve got it sweet here.

    You mean except for the constant attacks by various daikaiju… :)

    Seriously, Happy Birthday Luis.

  9. June 11th, 2007 at 15:28 | #9

    Happy belated birthday Luis! You should let people know these things so we aren’t all looking like forgetful old… what was I saying?

  10. June 11th, 2007 at 21:47 | #10

    Happy belated birthday, Luis! Here’s wishing you all the best for your next 43 years.

    I’ll be entering sanzan myself later this year, so I’ll have you to thank for reminding me that it’s not supposed to be a good year. 😉

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