What To Do and NOT Do In Hokkaido

My friend E. and I went to Hokkaido for Golden Week. We took the ferry from Sendai to Tomakomai, and let me tell you, it was horrible. The very limited buffet cost 2 sen ($25+) and the futons were half a person wide and one and a half people long. I was unwillingly touching my neighbors all night. The air smelt of stale cigarettes and everyone and their 3-month-old stared at E. for being noticeably foreign. I’m talking triple-takes and no-so-discreet picture taking. And the water was so rough on the way back that everyone was falling all over themselves, which was admittedly hilarious. But then I had to get sick, which was not so hilarious.

Next time–if there even is a next time–I’m going to use alternative modes of transportation. Unless I’m desperate to save money again. Which I probably will be.


The view from the window. Nothing but sea.

And here begins the list of … :insert drumroll: … (also, please announce this in a cheesy Mr. Movie Trailer Voice)

What to Do and NOT Do in Hokkaido

#1. DO NOT walk from the ferry port to Tomakomai Station. It takes ages and there’s nothing along the way but garbage and sad-looking buildings.

#2. Visit the Jingu Shrine and cross your fingers for some food stalls.

Maybe you’ll even see a wedding

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How to Cook A Husband: The Aunt Stella’s Bag Tells All

I have recently become unhealthily obsessed with Aunt Stella’s cookies. I mean, a different bunch of flavors every time I go??

I. Am. There.

But anyway, the Aunt Stella’s paper bags have fake articles printed on them with titles like “A Recipe to Live By” and “Household Remedies of 1909,” which is chock full of words like burdock root and horehound wild cherry bark. But the best article by far sits right between “The Sky Tells Them Much” (on seafarers and weather prediction) and “The Clouds” (about, well, clouds). And here it is:

How to Cook A Husband

A good many husbands are utterly spoiled by mismanagement. Some women keep them constantly in hot water; others let them freeze by their carelessness and in-difference. Some keep them in a stew by irritating ways and words. Others roast them; some keep them in a pickle all their lives. It cannot be supposed that any husband will be tender and good managed in this way, but they are really delicious when properly treated.

In selecting your husband you should not be guided by the silvery appearance, as in buying mackerel, nor by the golden tint, as if you wanted salmon. Be sure and select him yourself, as tastes differ. Don’t go to the market for him, as the best are always brought to your door. It is far better to have none unless you know how to cook him.

A preserving kettle of the finest porcelain is best, but if you have nothing but an earthenware pipkin, it will do, with care. See that the linen in which you wrap him is nicely washed and mended, with the required number of buttons and strings nicely sewed on. Tie him in the kettle by a strong silk cord called comfort, as the one called duty is apt to be weak and they are apt to fly out of the kettle and be burned and crusty on the edges, since like crabs and lobsters, you have to cook them alive.

Make a clear, steady fire out of love, neatness, and cheerfulness. Set him as near this as seems to agree with him. If he sputters and fizzles, do not be anxious; some husbands do this till they are quite done. Add a little sugar in the form of what confectioners call kisses, but no vinegar or pepper on any account; a little spice improves them, but it must be used with judgment. Do not stick any sharp instruments into him to see if he is becoming tender. Stir him gently; watch the while, lest he lie flat and too close to the kettle, and so become useless. You cannot fail to know when he is done. If thus treated you will find him very digestible, agreeing nicely with you and the children, and he will keep as long as you want, unless you become careless and se him in too cold a place.

This was published in 1910 by the Home Mission Society of the Moravian Church.

Bon appétit!