Feb 18

Hi,

So, we are just through Valentine’s Day, and I must stay, I was quite impressed. To begin with, on the day of the 14th, I had some important things to do at work, and I went home later than usual, I left office at 8PM. I almost forgot what day it was, and I will explain later why, but I saw a few men walking with roses, so I quickly got back on track, and went to look for some Chocolates for my wife. I didn’t find what I was looking for, but after all, we are in Hungary, and luxurious items are not yet present in shops. I rushed home, and while going in to our house, I almost hit my wife in the face with the door, as she was standing right in the entrance-way with this in her hands:

Read on….

In Hungary, Valentine’s day has no tradition what so ever, of course some people do it, but its mostly for the youngsters who need an occassion to please their beloved ones. For Hungarians, Valentine’s day is somewhat a new, very sort of “American” holiday, which is blown up by the media, and you almost feel like you are doing something bad by not buying one of the heart shaped chocolates, or the rose that is triple overpriced only on that single day. For these reasons, I never felt that Valentine’s Day means anything to me, but things changed when my wife and I met.

In Japan, Valentine’s day is huge, and as most things, this is also managed by the media. There is a large media coverage before the 14th of February, and cute little chocolate shops put their special valentine day’s product on little stands, so there actually are a lot of things to choose from, unlike in Hungary, were we have two heart shaped chocolates, all foreign made, and thats it.

Japanese ladies and girls buy a lot of chocolates on the 14th, and they categorize them in two groups. One is for Men in general, guys you work with, study with, are friends with. And the second, more obvious category is for the loved one. Now, of course this is a one sided game, and to allow men to return this chocolate giving, Japanese media (another chance to collest $$$ :) ) created another day, the White day, which is on the 14th of March. On that day, the boy who received the chocolate which wasnt the casual one, but the one for showing love, needs to return a White Cholocalte to the girl. This of course only happens if this boy likes the girl who initiated this “Chocolate war”.

I need to say, this is quite interesting, and somehow this became part of our lives as well, but I keep forgetting it. This means I shouldn’t have gotten any chocolates to begin with on the 14th of February, but rather on the 14th of March, on White Day. The cake on the picture was baked by my wife, and of course it was outstanding, just what it looks like. Its a cream-pie with strawberries and a cookie dough gives its base.

This is also a reminder to self, Ben, don’t forget to buy something on the 14th of March…….

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