This weekend was really cold, but really fun. I baked a real cake, something I rarely do due to Japanese kitchen limitations, but I was lucky to have access to a full-sized kitchen with an actual oven (and not a toaster oven…), so first thing I did was to bake a cake. I stocked up on ingredients at Kinokuniya (an upscale/import grocery store near Omotesando), and made a tasty vanilla cake complete with frosting. My Japanese friends think that our cakes are always too sweet (and after living here for four years, I cannot eat North American-style sweets anymore, gasp!) so I completely cut down the sugar and only kept it in the frosting, which was a nice balance, for me at least. It's amazing how happy I felt to bake again- such a simple thing, but oh-so-much pleasure.
We also took another trip to IKEA. This time I had a list of specifics, along with a budget to strictly follow, but everyone knows it's impossible just to get only one or two things at IKEA. My friend Jonathan went there thinking he would only buy a tiny coffee table, but ended up buying a sofa. I filled my basket along the way, and towards the end I decided to be reasonable and I ended up discarding half of my loot, and only sticking to my needs. What an achievement! I can't wait to re-arrange my apartment, all those new additions really make it more livable and cozy.
I'm always extra careful not to accumulate too much as I live abroad; I tend not to buy books or house furnishings I don't absolutely need, and not too many decorations. But well, it's been four years, and it's ridiculous not to feel completely at home just because I live 'abroad'. My life is here now and even though I may end up moving back to Canada or somewhere else someday, I'll deal with it. I think too many people who live abroad don't make their homes fully comfortable, and it's probably not a good thing. So here I am, I now am a bit more settled, and don't feel guilty about buying a semi-decorative pillow for my sofa.
I also went to my favourite cafe/cocktail bar/furniture shop Fuglen, a branch of the Norwegian shop. They have really skilled, mustache-sporting mixologists, and I tried a cocktail called "After Bath", a mix of bourbon, cynar, lemon, rosemary and lavender. It tasted just as fresh as it sounds. Fuglen is non-smoking, which I love, and they have piles of magazines like Monocle and home stuff for sale around the place. If you get there early enough, they bake those delicious cinnamon rolls.
It was a wonderful weekend, but I've been having chills for the past two days, and now a sore throat. Trying to fight it off with hot tea and honey, hope I can sleep it away.
|Baking and drinking: not one without the other|
|Vanilla cake! Dense and tasty!|
|The pile of discarded stuff and pouty face|
|After Bath at Fuglen|