Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Silly (& slightly nerdy) Book

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas! I have a silly story for you today to help you recover from all the food, the unwrapping of presents and too-tight and too-long hugs from aunts and grandmothers who smell of potpourri.


There are still many bookstores in Japan. Thus, a really good way to fill some time is by perusing the titles. I was in Shinjuku in Tokyo with about 30 minutes to spare before I was supposed to meet up with a friend so I went to Lumine, a nice department store connected to the station, to check out some books. This bookstore covers almost the whole floor and has a Starbucks attached to it. It's a floor of books. Mostly of the fashion and art type. I found some really cool books on architecture around the world as well as many how-to books pertaining to photography.

After wandering about for a big, flipping pages here and there, I found myself in the children's section of this rather fancy bookstore. There, I found the Japanese translation of The Giving Tree. Having just come off a ship interpreting/translating for 86 straight days, I was wondering how this book that I had loved so much as a child was translated. What I had conveniently (or not) forgotten was that this book also makes me cry every time. The translation was amazing. It definitely wasn't a direct translation of all the words and phrases used. I don't think that a strict, direct translation would have made me cry in the middle of a fancy bookstore inside a fancy department store in the middle of Tokyo. 

In an attempt to hide my now red eyes all filled up with tears, I picked up the closest book that I could pretend to read. I picked up...

Needless to say, I had, even through the blurry vision of looking through tears, selected the perfect book to get myself out of this slightly embarrassing state. I was in a new embarrassing state of giggling to myself in no time. The best part? That I wasn't reading what was pictured above. I was reading this

You know what makes silly books even sillier? 

When they're in Japanese. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Organic Ginger Peach White Tea

My tea obsession grows stronger as I travel. I have always liked green tea, but it probably wasn't until moving to Japan that I could tell the difference between tea leaf qualities and in some cases, origins. Going to India and England made me absolutely obsessed with black teas, a love only rivaled by my love of scones. Now? Well, I'm finally starting to get into herb, floral, and fruit teas.

My recent find is this one from a trip to Trader Joe's:

The balance between the ginger, pear and white tea is delicate enough so that none of them overpower the others. Though I usually associate most peach and other fruit teas with summer (and not winter), this is perfect for winter as well because the ginger adds a hint of spice, keeping you warm, while giving you a break from all the nutmeg and cinnamon you've inevitably been ingesting this season.

Do you have any recent tea finds? 
I'd love to try out some new teas!