Friday, February 15, 2008

A Happy Valentine's Day

As a happily single person, I could usually care less about Valentine's Day, but it was actually a lot of fun this year. Knowing that V-Day is a pretty big holiday in Japan, I spent the past two nights (Tuesday and Wednesday) baking chocolate chip cookies (using strawberry-flavoured and milk chocolate--yummy!) for all of the students and teachers at Kirita, plus the people in my section at the Towada Board of Education (60 people in total).

I somehow managed to wake up early enough to go to the office and back (~1hr roundtrip) before I had to leave to go to school. It was kind of fun (even though it was snowing and I was tired) because I was the first and only person in the office so I felt a little like Santa Claus (the Valentine Fairy?).

Then at Kirita, all of the students and teachers were appreciative of my V-Day presents, plus I got to do V-Day activities with all of my classes.

And the chocolate!!

I thought the (female) students would only give presents to the male teachers, but a lot of them made enough for all of the teachers (plus their classmates). One thing I learned, though, is that it’s a good idea to keep some sticky notes handy to identify the giver of each present as they’re given; it’s important to know who gave you presents so that you don’t miss giving anyone White Day presents. (March 14th is White Day, a day when girls who gave Valentine’s chocolate receive presents in return.)

Anyway, I came home with quite a haul!

For more (close-up) pictures of the presents, please see my Facebook photo page at

After school we had a rehearsal for a play some of us (ALTs) will be performing in Japanese at an "international" event in Towada. Following that the six of us went for dinner at a great Italian place in Towada called "Papa de Mucho."

Since I was in such a good mood, I decided to splurge and ordered the "Papa de" course: salad; pasta; dessert; and a soft drink. They were out of tiramisu, but the chocolate mousse was delicious, so it was fine.


alan said...

Why is it called White Day?

Presea said...

The exact origin of the name isn't known, but the common story is that a marshmallow company started marketing to men that they should repay women's Valentine's gifts with marshmallows and other candy companies joined in and made it common practice.

Another theory I read is that since the Japanese phrase for making a clean slate is "hakushi ni modosu" ("return to white paper"), White Day is a way for men to erase (make "white") their debt/obligation to the women who gave them Valentine's chocolate.