Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Shimanesque 3: The Florist in Me

"You know, it's bad luck to give camellia flowers to someone in the hospital."

"Really? I had no idea!"

"Yep. You know why?"

"Because...they're too...pink?"

"No, silly. When camellia flowers get old and die off, the petals don't fall off one by one. The whole flower falls off with a plop."

"Ummm, okay. And that's bad luck?"

"Well, people say it looks just like someone getting their head cut off, so that's what makes it bad luck."

"When you put it that way, I guess you have a point."

Spring comes to Shimane much earlier than it does to Hokkaido. Case in point: many flowers were blooming while I was there. For example, plum blossoms.

These were some plum blossoms I noticed while I was walking around Izumo on March 23rd.

This next set of plum blossoms are some I saw on the Matsue Castle grounds when I was there with a friend of mine on the 24th.

Here we go. The dreaded unlucky camellia from above.

Avoid giving these things as get-well flowers. Bad luck. Possibly bad karma as well. Which leads me to a thought I had while I was listening to the story about camellia blossoms and chopped-off heads.

I think it's dang near a miracle that anything gets done in this country, what with all of the different rules about what is bad luck and what is good luck. I just picture someone who knows all of these different little rules standing around screaming with their hands covering their ears, yelling, "What should I do? What should I do?"

These next two shots are of some flowers I found while walking around Taisha Town on Saturday afternoon with a friend of mine on March 26th.

I got some strange looks from the neighborhood folks. I guess someone taking pictures of flowers with their cell phone might look a bit suspicious, especially when that someone is freaky-ol' me.


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