This morning, as I was getting ready to go to work, somebody rang my doorbell. Fearing that it may be an early morning call from the Jehovah Witnesses, who have recently been conspicuous by their absence, I took a few seconds to mentally prepare myself for the ensuing theological debate before answering the door. However, instead of the expected missionaries I was greeted by a man carrying what looked like a prop from a 1980s espionage movie. ‘Good morning I am from NHK (the Japanese equivalent of the BBC, he didn’t say). Is Japanese okay?’ ‘Yes’, I lied. ‘Do you have a TV set?’ he inquired. ‘No’ I responded. ‘Okay, thank you and goodbye’. As all of this exchange occurred on my doorstep, I can only assume that the antiquated device that he was fondling was able to ascertain that I was telling the truth. Either that or he just couldn’t face getting out from the warmth and entering my apartment, which by all accounts was a good 5 or 6 degrees below the outside temperature.
As today was Valentine’s Day, Yuko and I went out for a meal this evening. And as we were in Japan she paid for the meal and brought me presents (the men reciprocate the gifts on 14th March – White Day). As well as buying me an incredibly stylish new bow-tie she had also baked me a cake, which given that she did so in her rice cooker was even more impressive. My favourite gift though was the card that I received from her, as she had drawn an image of me from one of my more favourable Facebook photographs, the likeness of which was truly incredible. It’s a shame that there aren’t more February the fourteenths in a year, as I tell you a boy could get used to this.