I’m sad because Shoko is leaving Japan soon. But I’m excited for her because she’s going to do an internship in Los Angeles! I made her a little dog in her favorite colors to accompany her on her American adventure.
Tonight we had a little going away-party for her at a restaurant in Esaka with a funny name (Foodie Papa) but interesting and delicious food (like duck with blueberry jam). It was a fun party with lots of laughter and even some tears. I’m going to miss Shoko a lot, but hey now I have someone to visit in the City of Angels!
Dan J recently blogged about Japan’s surprisingly huge pears. It’s true, most fruit in the supermarket looks super-sized to my Dutch eyes. But apparently that’s not all they have in Japan, they also have tiny-sized fruit:
I got the super apple at the supermarket and the tiny apple was a present from a student who had apparently traveled somewhere they grow mini versions of apples. It tasted just like a regular apple but with an overdose of thick apple skin. It was cute though.
One of my coworkers is getting married this Sunday and today I’m giving her these two bears to celebrate that fact:
Actually, she’s already been married for several months but she hasn’t had her wedding ceremony yet. But this is normal in Japan.
Japanese couples fill out a few of papers at city hall and some minutes later they’re husband and wife, and the actual wedding ceremony (usually months later) is basically just for show and to celebrate.
This way Japanese couples will have two anniversaries every year, the day they officially got hitched and the day they had the party. It’s a bit weird to me, still I hope they have a great party.
Usually my most recent creation is my favorite and right now that is Hannah the Horse. It took me a while to make her because I was reluctant to try sewing on her manes because I was afraid it wouldn’t look right. But I didn’t have to worry, because I love her and her manes.
As you can see cats and dogs have also joined the ranks at the eleventh monkey shop. Introducing the cats: adventurous and exciting black Bella, friendly and normal blue Erik, popular and fashionable purple Grace and her brother clueless but adorable orange Cecil. And the dogs: brown Brad who’s proud to be regular dog, green Paddie the party animal, gray Roz the tough feminist and blue Frida the circus freak.
The best thing you can do at ‘The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum’ (the official name of this small museum) is create your own Cup Noodle. First, you purchase an empty cup from the vending machine, and then you spend a considerable amount of time decorating your cup in the drawing area:
Next, you insert noodles at the ‘Noodle Shooter’, and have them add your choice of soup taste and fillings, seal and shrink-wrap your cup in the ‘My Cup Noodle Factory’. And at the end of the factory line, you’ll find your little noodle treasure which you can then take home in a special balloon bag:
After that don’t forget to check out the display of Cup Noodle history inside and a statue of the instant ramen inventor Momofuku Ando outside. And of course the perfect way to end an afternoon of looking at and talking about ramen is by eating some ramen:
Even though Yasu is a huge ramen fan, I’m not that fond of it. But the ramen at this restaurant was really delicious, just like it was last year when I went there with the Dutchies.
The plushies in my eleventh monkey shop describe themselves as a a bunch of slightly awkward creatures looking for new friends out in the world. Some of them have already found new friends out there, and those friends have been photographing their adventures outside of Japan.
Gus moved to Belgium to live with my brother Djamo and he took Gus on a vacation to Tunesia:
Donnie moved to the Netherlands to live with my mom and she taught him how to cook, brought him to the office and took him out shopping in Eindhoven:
It’s so much fun to see the eleventh monkey creatures out in the world and I hope to see pictures of the others out there too.
Since I’ve opened my shop on Etsy I’ve made a small number of sales, and my customers were all people I know, like family, friends and students. Of course I’m very happy they’re supporting my little shop and that they like my creatures enough to buy them, but I have been hoping for an unknown person to buy something. And tonight this finally happened! Yay!
A customer called Carley1 requested two custom giraffes at the beginning of the week and now I’ve just finished them and she’s purchased tonight. I’m so grateful that I’m including a small gift to my first ‘unknown’ customer. An eleventh monkey badge, I hope she likes it.