Sunday, March 13, 2011

week 24_More Sapporo, Japan

Teppanyaki Dinner... Mmmm!
Our last night of the trip was a big celebration. I find that in Taiwanese culture (so far), it seems that people who work together also celebrate heavily together. They are not restrained by the same social boundaries as a working American. They do not feel that simply being members of the same professional environment means that you should not - for example - challenge each other to a sake drinking contest in front of the entire staff, and make sure the winner takes photos with the cutest waitresses after. Then maybe do the same thing all over again... Twice.

I don't think that the Taiwanese are big drinkers in general, but when it comes to special occasions, they tend to get swept away... This was not the first dinner party that I felt might be crossing a line... and it won't be the last! My American background tells me I should have one drink because I like it, some toasting because it is appropriate, and maybe an additional drink or two because it is encouraged by the extended toasting, or is another round purchased by the boss.... but when your boss continues to order more bottles of sake, and asks if you could "please finish that one off... because it's too weak. Water really. But don't worry, the next bottle will be stronger".....................

Then the rules of the game have completely changed. And for this American girl, it still feels awkward!
Anyways... that was the last dinner of the trip. :)

For our final day in Japan, we visited a temple and and outlet mall.
[Yes, those sound strange sharing the same sentence.]

The temple was lovely, like everything in Japan, it was covered in snow.

Photograph by our company photographer, Phoeny
Hokkaido Temple, Sapporo, Japan.
The clean lines and simplicity of the Japanese architecture were beautiful. Serene.
Very different from the elaborate ornamentation on traditional Chinese temples.

Divination by lots.
"For foreigners" - this one's for me!
Pay 100 yen, then reach in to find out your fate.
These boxes have little pieces of paper inside that tell you your "divination." Depending on whether or not you like what you draw, people then tie the paper to a stringed display and offer a prayer to the gods. I find it slightly amusing that this box is labeled "for foreigners" but there is a box adjacent to this one "for Chinese" or "for Taiwanese"... Aren't they foreigners in Japan too? Whatever the case, I drew my luck and it turns out I had "excellent luck" the best you can draw! Once you draw your divination, it has many different categories: love, wealth, health, marriage, etc... I did pretty well...
Ha! Except that under the category of travel it said "You need to stop it."
That is funny.
Hokkaido Temple, Sapporo, Japan

Sorry fans... No photos from the Outlet Mall visit after the temple...
Then it was time to head 'home'!

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