Yukkuri Countdown JAPAN
Monday, January 31, 2005
 Good and Bad

Today at visit school (Mondays and Fridays I work at my visit school, as opposed to the other three days of the week when I work at my base school) I braved the cafeteria alone for the first time. It's kind of scary, really. I managed to find out what they were serving (there is no menu posted) and decided on something relatively non-oily.

curry rice
This curry was on the thin side but I prefer that to very thick heavy overly-rich curry. That doesn't mean I don't like a fair amount of veggies in my curry, however, which is why I won't get this curry again. Even though the lady behind the counter told me it had carrots (and potato?) in it, this was just onion curry. No, correction: this was onion and pork fat curry. Still, I ate it all up (except for the pork and fat)!

I found out Taiji dropped out of school. He quit, said my JTE quite matter-of-factly, when I asked him after class. I was disappointed at the news because even though Taiji was one of the four or five boys who was held back from last year, he seemed to have a better attitude and behavior than many Ss. He smiled all the time and didn't argue or make jokes, just was more absorbed in his keitai than class. He had me going though, because he was one of the most active Ss in his English class. He'd be the first to volunteer answers and he was interested in the stamps I rewarded for participating in class. He struck me as a clever kid.


natsumikan
On a sunnier note, today a teacher brought in a box of natsumikan for other staff members to take. People often bring in loads of their own homegrown fruits and vegetables. Once I took home a giant cabbage in my backpack, or was it two?


natsumikan
Believe me, today I wasn't being greedy! I was taking one when my favorite JTE grabbed another and said, Oh this one must be very good too! and put it in my hand.


natsumikan
Coincidentally I think this is the fruit that the principal at base school gave me one time. It's like a mix between an orange and a grapefruit in both appearance and taste. I eat them like I eat grapefruits, peeling all the skin off so it's just shiny juicy segments. Do they have these in other places besides Japan?


nabe ingredients
Tonight's nabe was a nice combination of veggies. I personally like niira, the long greens (often used in gyoza filling?), because they have a subtle yet substantial taste. It's oniony but not exactly, perhaps somewhat garlicky. Left pocket describes it like eating grass...tasty grass. I prefer to eat the niira before they've been in the nabe for long, while they still have crunch in them. Another special guest in tonight's nabe was first-timer, flat-green-pea-pods. What are these called? These are very thin and the peas inside pop when you bite em. If they're sweet they're good. I had leftovers so I decided to experiment and they weren't a bad addition at all!
 
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Seize the food, for Japan is time-service only! In other words, this blog is to preserve, share, and make the most of my six months left living in Japan. Yes, I am obsessed with food. Cheap food!

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Location: Tokyo/Saitama, Japan

Life is short so I eat fast, lest it get cold or disappear. I'm currently teaching English in Japan for two years. I was born and raised in California, and will be returning there in Summer 2005. I was ovo-lacto-vegetarian for about seven years but decided to let it go during second year in Japan!


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Left pocket's Bulgogi
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Fumiyo's Cafeteria Tour
Japanese vs. Western
Chicken is an Animal
Eating with the VPs

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