Prep iii – Purchase Omiyage

As most people will know, if you are going to stay with a host family, it’s custom to bring them nice gifts from your country (omiyage). I’ve heard many times that the Japanese prefer food as gifts instead of useless bath stuff or trinkets – how very practical! I just wish that kind of thinking will catch on in this country.

So I went out in search of the most non-perishable and suitcase-packable ‘British’ foods I could find. After a few days, my efforts amounted to a sizable omiyage pile mountain in my room.

At this rate, I’m know gong to have to ditch some clothes to fit them into my suitcase. I guess that’s the price you pay if you want to buy a stranger’s love.

M&S Scottish Shortbread, Whittards Earl Grey Tea and Thorntons chocolate

I am quite aware that most British people don’t really spend our afternoons sipping Earl Grey from little teacups accompanied with the finest shortbread whilst overlooking George play polo with his friends from boarding school… but I’ve got to keep up appearances right? Who knows what would happen if Japanese people found out that the normal procedure is to dunk cardboard tasting Rich Tea biscuits into a mug?

The chocolate apes are customized with my host family’s kid’s names. From experience, I know that a good indication that little girls cherish your presents is that they like it so much they wouldn’t want to eat it. I hope that happens. Or better yet, they love me so much for giving them such an awesome gift that they decided to share some with me.

So that’s another thing ticked off the prep list. I don’t think I’ll be adding much more to the pile lest I have nothing to wear when I get there. I considered buying whiskey for my host father but since all I know about whiskey is how to spell it, I think I’ll give that a miss.


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