- Friday: Dan Bento (Honey Chipotle Chicken)
- Saturday: Sakura Matsuri, Tysons Corner shopping, Tachibana
- Sunday: Family things and New Lotte (where I bought a new bento)
Since I included links for the main events on Friday and Sunday, I’ll mostly talk about Saturday. I don’t usually post personal things (outside of bento and reviews) here, but figured this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival was worth it!
First off, for some reason the Metro was horrible. Maybe because it was filled with tourists that don’t know anything about the Metro, riding the Metro, DC Geography, and Transit ‘rules’ (like if you stand, stand to the right on escalators so that others can walk up if they want to). Thankfully, we were able to bypass the long line snaking out of the metro because we had SmarTrip cards! Then we waited for a train and snagged seats. People were complaining about it being crowded and how people ‘wouldn’t move down’ to fill the entire car. What they didn’t realize is that we couldn’t move down. Oh, and maybe people didn’t want to move down because they didn’t want to get trapped inside the Metro and not be able to get off at their stop (my constant fear ever since it happened to me at Metro Center a few years back. That, along with being stabbed by turnstiles or elevator doors closing on me, but that’s another subject).
There were a few things that led to the failure of Sakura Matsuri.
- The weather was horrible! The wind was so strong and it made it too cold to be outside enjoyably.
- In recent years, the Cherry Blossom Festival became sponsored by large companies like Target. Last year and especially this year, there was a huge influx of people and since it was so crowded, it was not fun.
- Crowded. This is a sub-item of #2, but it really set off a domino chain. Since it was so crowded, we had to strategically attack the festival. First up was food, because I’m not going to lie — the main attraction for me was to get some real Japanese street food not available elsewhere [FAILURE]. We got in a line for 10 minutes for pre-packaged sushi and taiyaki. Then a 30-minute line for Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki.
- Which leads to the next point. The taiyaki was cold inside. The Okonomiyaki and Takoyaki were so horrible tasting that we took two bites and threw it away. What a waste of time! I should have expected this since I saw them pouring the yakis out of huge pre-packaged, frozen food bags. What really saddened me is that every single thing that I had there, I could have made at home–better.
- And the final point: Authenticity. From the first time I went to Sakura Matsuri, the authenticity of the festival has degraded. Now I see a bunch of anime-obsessed posers with no traditional Japanese foods or events. I saw Archery, Martial Arts, and Origami, but I’ve been-there-done-that. I’m not a stranger to the Japanese culture. I don’t want or need education, I want what I want and what I’ve had!
Disgusting Taiyaki. Oh, I didn’t know how disgusting when this picture was taken or else I would have wiped that smile right off my face.
Inari-zushi and FutoMaki
Oh, thats where it came from.
After waiting in line (and meeting some very not-nice-slash-annoying people), we were done. At one point, a large lady rammed into Dan so hard that he bumped into me and I had to balance on one foot. Obviously, she had not been looking where she was going because we were looking straight up and were following the path of foot traffic. She was crossing the street and had the audacity to shout after us “Excuse You!”. *shakes head* Not to mention that we were waiting in line and someone asked us ‘if it was the line for food’. Now, I didn’t want someone to be mad at me, so I said “It’s the like for this one stand, there are other stands with their own lines”, and apparently I was being ‘condescending’ and got in trouble for that as well.
I even saw Maneki Neko and I wanted to wait in line (maybe their Okonomiyaki would be real?), but it really wasn’t worth it. We got to the cross-section of the food and non-food areas and looked around. I just became exhausted at the prospect of ‘dealing’ with this huge glob of ‘festival-ness’ and was growing more and more bitter by the moment. So, I turned around and said “I’m done” in a tone that asked if it was okay that I was done.
So basically we trekked out there for bad food and cold. We had to wait in line to get on the metro to get back home, and the worst part: we didn’t even see the cherry blossoms. I had been really excited this year to see them since the last several years, they had been blown to smitherines and were non-existent at the time of the festival. But, it was just too cold.
(Don’t worry, I’ll be looking for redemption at Japan Day this weekend, where I know for a fact they’ll make everything from scratch, for free, because I was doing it last year!)
Danny picked up on my sense of defeat and we went to Tysons (where I Back2Mac-ed and got a free eyeshadow from MAC!) and to Tachibana for Shabu-Shabu! (That will be a seperate entry). Yay, the day was salvaged!
I had to go to my Mom’s to work, but before hand we went to Wal-Mart and looked at paint colors for our living room. We’re looking at bright greens, and I’m thinking between Jalapeno and Lime Spritz. Jalapeno is more of a yellow/brown/green, and Lime Spritz is a yellow/green. Of course, those font colors are not representative of the colors. But, they’re both in the family of the font color used for “Lime Spritz”.
Then we went to Wegman’s (Gainesville for some reason) and I got ingredients to make cupcakes and madelines that are going to be muffins now because I don’t have a madeline pan, nor do I need to justify buying one.
I worked for a few hours then headed over to my grandparents’ to sign my taxes, steal some mochiko, and get a mochi recipe. I also got to eat some bulgogi (korean bbq) and my grandma talked to me about how awesome the new Lotte is (which means I’m officially her favorite grandchild because *I* told her about it). Then I went to the new Lotte and shopped for a bit before going home. Because you know, I have a car this week, so I can do things like that!
On a side note: Congrats to the new addition to the piggie line @ UVA! (and her pledge sisters)