Japan current location7:15PM Gene and Louís in Misawa.

Iíll apologize in advance, this log is remarkably uninteresting. Reason being Ė dagnabbit Iíve caught a cold. As Kelly and Molly will tell you, being sick in Japan (and on vacation) sucks, royally. Iíve been fighting it for several days, but it finally caught up with me. Fortunately I can buy American drugs at the Exchange, so Iím not screwed when it comes to trying to figure out a Japanese equivalent.

My coffee was good this morning; Iíve missed my lattes the last two days in Sapporo. I had lunch with Lou after she came back from the vet, which consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and tomato soup, then we talked for a while. Lou wants me to help her call mama-sans, women who will do housecleaning and babysitting, for after she has the baby, which Gene isnít so pleased about.

I realized that I was really missing the pugs, I hope they got off to Steph and Cathrynís okay! Due to lack of pug-love, I showed Lou a bunch of videos of my kiddos on my laptop, and ended up missing them even more. Iím even wearing a pug shirt today. Sad, isnít it? Around 2:20 Lou had to go pick up Chloe, so I decided it was time to take a nap, as the sickness was commanding. Pug-sentimentality kicked in, and I needed a dog to snuggle with. Poor Jasper got company on the floor for the afternoon. I put a pillow on the floor for my head, and shuffled up next to him. Heís so big, heís a great nap partner! We slept there for about 2 hours, until Lou came back home from her errands.

Chloeís doing fine, they drained the abscess, and sheís holed up in their bathroom, as sheís still ďleakingĒ. Ugh. Lou opened up a bunch of boxes she got today, including baby announcement stationary, a set of Halloween windchimes, and a silk flower centerpiece. Gene got home from work a little while later Ė looks like heís coming down with the same thing I am. Suck.

We took Jasper out for a quick exercise in the big area across the street. He and Gene ran around some and Jasper chased his football. I took some pictures of the trees at night, since they were rather imposing in the dark, and actually are one of the more Japanese things on this base. Afterwards we climbed into the car and drove to the ďgeneric Japanese restaurantĒ nearby for some quick grub.

They welcomed us as usual, and we took seats at the bar. Itís a very quaint, cute place, with lots of aquariums. Some of them are full of fish for cooking, from what I can tell! The little one up front had a fugu Ė a Japanese blowfish. The so-called Blowfish of Doom, due to the fact that if itís prepared incorrectly, it can kill you. They have a small English menu, but I was reading off the other stuff for Gene and Lou. Lou had me ask what the difference was between the Tempura Don and the Ebi (shrimp) Tempura Don, and it turns out you get 4 shrimp instead of one. She had that and some spring rolls, which as it turns out the reading of the kanji is ďharumakiĒ, literally ďspring rollĒ. Duh. Gene ordered the sushi set with soy sauce flavored ramen, and I (thought I) ordered a katsu don Ė a pork cutlet over rice with egg and sweet sauce and gyoza (chinese dumplings). The gyoza appeared first and were deep fried. They were filled with pork, green onion, and cabbage and were delicious. Geneís sushi set came next (in Japanese restaurants, they deliver everything as itís ready, not at once), along with his big bowl of delicious-looking ramen. I really wanted that ramen! He got six pieces of sushi on the plate, and asked for a little more wasabi on the side. Lou commented that his ramen smelled a little fishy, which she determined was because of the seaweed in it. Gene also wasnít a fan, but I love the stuff.

What we thought was Louís tempura arrived next, but she was confused since it only contained 2 shrimp. I asked the girl if it was supposed to contain 2 or 4, since I know she said four, and she agreed there were four on the Ebi Tempura Don. I was about to ask why it was two, but she said that was just the Tempura don, and not a second later the Ebi Tempura Don appeared. Ah okay, I thought, but then, who was supposed to eat the Tempura Don? She said it was mine! I said that I thought I had ordered a katsu don, but was asking if that what I did. The woman who brought the ebi tempura and she both looked confused, and I think they explained that they didnít *have* any katsu don right now, and they brought me out a tempura don. I think. They asked if that was okay, and I cheerfully said, ah okay, I understand and it was all fine and dandy. Which it really was, the tempura don was wonderfully tasty, it just wasnít what I thought I ordered. In retrospect, I didnít know for sure if I had maybe accidentally ordered a tempura don since I was talking about Louís, or if they just substituted it since they didnít have one, as itís kind of a Japanese thing to do.

ďIíd like a katsudon.Ē
ďPerhaps you would prefer a tempura don.Ē
ďNo, Iíd really like a katsudon.Ē
ďI see.Ē

And so forth, as Dave Barry chronicles in Dave Barry Does Japan, which is a terribly funny book if you havenít read it. I almost bought it for Gene in Sapporo. I enjoyed the tempura don thoroughly, which consisted of two tempura shrimp, octopus, bell pepper, a small fish, and eggplant all on top of rice with a sweet brown sauce. It also had some pickled mushroom and small pickled eggplant on the side.

Gene tried increasing his wasabi intake heavily, but his nose was so stopped up, it actually didnít do *anything*! We finished our delicious meal and paid, Gene and Louís was like 2230, mine was 1230, which neither is very expensive considering the amount of food. They made an observation when we left that eating out in Washington routinely cost $40 for both of them, even without alcohol. Eating out here is much less expensive, overall. The woman apologized again for the food when I left, and I still donít know if they switched it and didnít say anything or I just screwed up. Itís not really important I guess, since I enjoyed my meal anyway!

We went back through the gate and returned home to a happy Jasper. Gene is upstairs shaving Louís legs (ah the things you do for your pregnant wife, tee hee) and then Iíd like to show them part of Lost in Translation before I go back to Hakodate. Tomorrow the plan is to run around with Lou some and get ready to go. I also need sleep, and lots of it to shake this dang bug as soon as possible.

-- Hik