Monday, January 15, 2007

Oh Deer

Think Nara.Think Deer.Deer are synonymous with Nara.They have been for centuries.Cunning,cloven pick-pockets.Ready to dispossess unwary tourists of food or anything else they carry.Deer biscuits-shika sembei (small circular cracker like biscuits)are readily available from street vendors.

Deer souvenirs and paraphernalia seem to hang from every doorway.Hello Kitty and other character goods incorporating deer catch the tourists eye and wallets. Posters adorned with them plaster walls.Manhole covers bear their designs.

My favorite souvenir was the box below.The illustration on the box means no translation is necessary.Potential purchasers can readily identify the contents.Deer pooh confectionery.Chocolate surrounded by mochi (pounded sticky rice).Quite sweet and a real conversation starter.

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