The grammar of that is probably completely off, but it apparently means Happy Birthday in Japanese. This year seems to have become the Japanese birthday, and it was delightful. A few of my friends and I went for sushi after work, which was delicious, and then we came home and watched Cherry Blossoms while eating Chai creme brulee (okay, maybe the multicultural birthday: I also had spicy thai noodles for lunch).
Cherry Blossoms is a really beautiful movie. I loved it. It's about love and grief, and about how hard it is sometimes to connect, even with the people we love the most, but also how important it is to connect, to really try. It's about aging and family and romance and living and dying. Made by Buddhist director Doris Dorrie, who also made Enlightenment Guaranteed (which I loved), this film is... sometimes slow, sometimes sad, moving, funny, pure, natural, ephemeral... so many things. Recommended.
And while I know it's not my birthday anymore, I decided to keep celebrating myself today, given that I had to spend most of yesterday in work, and didn't get a chance to buy myself the ever-important birthday gift to self. I kept on in the Japanese theme, and finally wandered into a little store that opened in Halifax recently, the Ikebana Shop. All kinds of adorable Japanese things were laid out beautifully, and the store was so peaceful and colourful. I was at a table looking at the various teas, when the man at the counter asked me if I was familiar with Japanese teas. I told him I knew a little bit, but not a lot, and he told me he was preparing some tea if I'd like to join him. Ferdy explained to me about pouring the hot water into a separate bowl to cool it (apparently 80 degrees is ideal for tea), and steeping the tea for about a minute so it doesn't get too bitter. He then poured it, switching back and forth between two cups, pouring a little bit into each at a time, and handed me a cup. It was delicious, subtle and slightly sweet. I had a really great time chatting with Ferdy, and found out that his wife teaches Ikebana classes in their upstairs studio. I really want to go try a class (or two or twelve), so I think that might be one of my birthday gifts to myself. I also picked up some Genmaicha Matcha-iri (Green Tea with Roasted Brown Rice and Matcha), a gorgeous cherry blossom notepad, and a couple of cute little buttons.
Yay for cherry blossoms. Yay for Japan. Yay for Japanese themed birthdays.