Deathnotes.

Hello everyone, good news, I can hear again.

Saw the ear doctor today who strapped me down and roughly abused me, aurally. He had his wicked way with my ears and left them sore and aching but vastly improved. Yesterday I couldn’t hear a thing out of my left ear. The doctor strapped me to a chair and cleaned out my ears and now I can hear better than I ever remember being able to. I had no idea I was so deaf before! And you should have seen the amount of crap he pulled out of my ears, I had no idea ear canals were so big! It was truly disgusting.

He diagnosed an ear infection which I have to take an absolute ton of drugs for. 9 a day!

Anyway the only reason I bring this up is because I have now experienced something new in Japan, I have been to a Japanese doctor. How do they compare to western doctors I hear you ask, well largely it’s the same. The waiting time was a bit shorter than what I’m used to and the nurses had sexier uniforms than back home but generally they’re just as brusque and no nonsense as English doctors.

Anyway I’m still in recovery mode largely so it’s a quick one today. Tomorrow I should have a full post all about a recent confectionary convention I attended in Himeji.

So let’s talk about Caramel-Salt Kit-Kats.

One of the things that ex-pats notice a lot and that for me is indelibly linked with Japan is the staggering variety of forms the humble kit-kat can achieve. I have mentioned this before on the site and I have always intended to start cataloguing the different kinds of kit-kat available. Well there’s no time to start like the present so here is kit-kat entry number one, caramel salt.

The combination of caramel and salt sounds odd (it is after all just sugar and salt effectively) but not too odd. I can conceivably see this flavour working but I do wonder why not just go with caramel on its own, what does the salt add?

As it happens not much. The kit-kat has a definite caramel flavour although disappointingly it’s still quite chocolatey whereas I was hoping for something close to a caramac. The effect of the salt is to make it taste more like a burnt caramel than something overtly sweet. Presumably this is meant to compliment the bitterness of Japanese tea.

Finally I want to show everyone this.

Yup, it’s a bag. Crucially it’s a backpacking bag, one designed for the purpose of doing some travelling. What it signifies is a little adventure I intend to go on.

Since I first arrived in Japan people have been telling me that the great thing about Japan is that you can sleep anywhere. If you miss your last train you can always sleep in a capsule hotel, a love hotel (basically a hotel where you can buy rooms by the night or the hour) or failing that in a karaoke box, a manga café (much more than a mere manga destination. For an hourly rate a manga café will let you read manga, drink coffee, use the internet, watch films, play computer games and sleep in big comfy chairs. They stay open all night and people are employed to look after sleeping customers and see that they are safe) or failing this just in a train station. I have tested this theory by sleeping in a nightclub unmolested but now I am going to really put it to the test. I aim to head out to Hiroshima during Golden Week and see if I can spend 3 days there and in its environs without using a hotel, mostly because during golden week most of the hotels are booked up anyway. I will sleep in manga cafes and wash in onsens and sentos. If I succeed I will be endeavouring to use this method of travel again in the summer.

By the way the title of today’s post is a pun on the famous manga and anime series Deathnote. Deathnote is about a boy who discovers a notebook left on Earth by a shinigami (a death god). If he writes a name in the book, that person dies. I haven’t read much Deathnote but at the moment it is an insanely popular manga in Japan.

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