shabu shabu

shabu shabu, originally uploaded by renfield.

Mai-chan took me out to lunch because I'm always helping her write English emails. We went to shabu shabu, which for the non-Japanese inclined is the sound of cooking incredibly thin meat in boiling water. Here we have Japan's finest pork and beef, sliced translucent thin, and after cooking to be dipped in either the tart ponzu or the sesame-delightful goma sauce. I ate four plates and two bowls of rice, which put Mai-chan back around 60 bucks US. But I am so worth it.

hisae grandma

hisae grandma, originally uploaded by renfield.

P and I took the Tsukuba Express from Akiba up to Tsukuba to see Grandma Hisae. She had a stroke a couple months ago and her left side was paralized.
She's now in a physical therapy ward in a nice hospital and can move her left arm ok, though she can't yet walk as her left leg doesn't have enough mobility yet.
But she's crotchety as always and her brain is sharp, so we were relived. She gave P lots of advice, including the old proverb "birth 'em small, raise 'em big."
Afterwards we went with mom to lunch at the strangest restaurant I've been to yet. It was called "Mehiko" (as in Mexico), specialized in crab, and was shaped like an octogon, the center of which was a tropical paradise filled with...flamingo. Real, pink, flamingo. In Mexico. Specializing in crab.
I had the steak-on-rice, which immediately gave me a massive stomach ache. Not a surprise given then 37 liquid ounces of butter used to cook the rice (and the steak, methinks.)