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Feb 15, 2019

Valentine's Day Blunder - Adjusting to Cultural Differences

Chocolate, flowers, stuffed animals – that’s just some of the images that dance in my head when February hits. For me it is still a bit of an adjustment to realize I have to wait an entire month for any of these things! But seriously, as Valentine’s comes closer, I am still torn about what I am going to do this year. (I get a few extra days because I happen to be out of the country on Valentine’s Day. Haha.) You think that I would have the hang of this by now! Last year, it was my first time spending Valentine’s day with my Japanese boyfriend. I had no concept of what to give. Of course, I asked all of my Japanese friends, but it was little help because most of them have not dated much. I was at a loss!


Valentine's Day Blunder - Adjusting to Cultural Differences photo

 https://www.pexels.com/search/heart/


I knew that it was custom for girls to make sweets, but that was it. Compared to America, Valentine’s day doesn’t seem quite as extravagant. I am used to seeing large presents and tons of chocolate exchanged. Plus, couples normally go out to eat at a nice restaurant. That was the norm for me, so making just a few little chocolates just didn’t feel like enough. Not to mention, I had never made chocolate before. Give me an oven and I am ready to go, but without one, I was in a panic. I am a baker, not a chocolatier!


It was the day before Valentine’s Day. I picked up some of the handy chocolate making sets from the market. (I bought a few so that even if I messed up at my first go, I would still be covered.) Those kits SAVED me!

Valentine's Day Blunder - Adjusting to Cultural Differences photo

My truffles!


Valentine's Day Blunder - Adjusting to Cultural Differences photo

My mini pies! 


However, after it was done, I gazed upon my creation and it still just didn’t feel like enough. I found myself going to the store just to purchase some chocolate… And then waffles… And then pudding... My boyfriend’s present slowly grew three times in size, like the Grinch’s heart! Haha.

Valentine's Day Blunder - Adjusting to Cultural Differences photo

A bit much? Maybe...


By the time Valentine’s Day came, he had a pretty hefty package of sweets. After he opened them all we talked about the cultural differences between America and Japan on Valentine’s Day. I asked him what the standard present size is, and he looked at mine and chucked before he explained that just what I had made in the beginning is standard. Woops! What will I end up doing this year, we shall see!


ReishiiTravels

ReishiiTravels

Teacher, Traveler, Dancer
Currently living in Gifu
I love Japan, dance, cats, food, and fashion!


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