Living in Japan teaches you many things. You learn to park your car in impossibly small spaces, and increase your ability to handle alcohol in social situations. You learn to apologize really well, since no language is fitted for expressing regret at screwing something up as Japanese is. You also learn how to use chopsticks, since most meals here require them, except for “Western” dishes like spaghetti or curry. Chopsticks are very easy to use: you just hold one stick between your middle finger and thumb, then hold the second with your forefinger and thumb so that you can create a “scissor” action that allows you to pick up food. With practice, it’s very easy to pluck the last grain of rice from the bottom of your bowl when eating. The use of chopsticks is taught to children at around the age of three, and it’s common for parents to want to make sure their kids learn to use them properly before they start preschool, making chopstick use one of the first forms of peer pressure children are subjected to in Japanese society. In Japan there’s exactly “one” correct way to do things, a concept that extends to the holding of chopsticks as well, and it’s common for conversations over beers at an izakaya to turn to how strangely someone is holding their chopsticks. To me, the ultimate test of how good you are at using chopsticks is being able to wring the juice from a slice of lemon without getting any on your hands. Just slide the chopsticks into either end of the lemon slice and twist in opposite directions, extracting the lemon juice. Incidentally, J-List stocks many kinds of chopsticks from Japan, including ones with rough patches at the ends (to make them easier to eat with), awesome Pocky chopsticks, and even “training chopsticks” for beginners.
Yui enjoys Mugi’s eyebrows, which are pickled radishes (wat?).