Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hokkaido Tour and Fast Food

When my Dear and I were at Hokkaido, the days of our tour flew really fast! There are a couple of reasons for this. First, with Hokkaido being near the north pole, days start early and nights come fast.

When my wife and I woke up on the mornings of our hotel stays around 5.30 am, it seemed dark like in Singapore around this time but as we opened the thick curtains, we were surprised that the skies were already as bright as 8 am, in Singapore! Our six days in Hokkaido passed really fast as nightfall comes around 530 pm as the skies start to get darker.

With a bulk of our tour everyday spent in tour coaches as we got from one place of interest to another, departing from 8 am from the hotel everyday, it is really a blessing that the weather was kind to our tour group on whatever precious little time we had at each travel destination except the last day when it was drizzling.

If it were rainy, some mountain ascents would not have been possible and it would be indeed inconvenient to carry umbrellas and to take photos. Our tour group was lucky! It has been some days since I blog about the lovely tour of my wife and I in Hokkaido as I have been busy with life, how I love our carefree and fun days in Hokkaido when we were treated like Royalty, enjoying and eating like horses!

Alas, the Great days are already over, what I can do now is reminiscence and share with all of you the Great days my wife and I had in Hokkaido as well as working hard to save up money for another Great tour soon! So what am I going to share with you today about Hokkaido?

Well, it has been sometime that I have talked about food in Hokkaido and so today, I will share with you this topic: McDonalds and Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants and food in Hokkaido! There are really very few western restaurants the likes of McDonalds and KFC in Hokkaido. Thus my wife and I were pleasantly surprised to find one McDonald restaurant near our hotel on our third night at APA hotel.

Why are we so interested in a common globalized western restaurant which serves food we can eat in Singapore? Well, though the restaurant is globalized, the layout and menu served differs accordingly to the country the restaurant resides in. For example, when I was in Taiwan many years back, their McDonalds has a pork burger on its menu, certainly not a dish to have in heterogeneous Singapore where the McDonald chain of restaurants serve Halal food.
There are only 3 customers in the McDonald restaurant. Apart from the Japanese menu, the layout of the restaurant is different from Singapore’s. The air-conditioned restaurant is partitioned into smoking and non-smoking areas. My Dear and I felt uncomfortable inhaling the cigarette smoke from the few smokers in the smoking areas. There was a large poster showing a burger with an interesting shape with the Chinese word “Fu (4) Huo(2) ” in Hanyu Pinyin.

Throughout my stay in Hokkaido, it was interesting to note some Chinese words used in the Japanese context which would not make sense, take a completely different meaning or become a laughing matter in mandarin context. I knew the poster means to state that the burger on it has made a comeback but “Fu (4) Huo(2) ” really means ‘come back to life’ in mandarin literally! I was hence amused!

My wife and I ordered Chicken Tatsuta. It is a heart-shaped bun, complete with great chicken patties and the taste is unlike what can be found in Singapore. The chicken burger is simply amazing!
More about Hokkaido KFC in the next post as too tired, going to sleep now. Good night!