Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Long time, no entry. Well, long time for me. Anyway, been real busy here for the past week. I have returned to doing some revisions on my novel, nothing major, just really sentence and paragraph level revisions at this point, slimming it all down a bit now that my eyes are fresher.

Ohama sensei is leaving in a day or two to visit schools in Portugal for the next few weeks. She'll be talking to Portuguese students about Japan, I guess. We had a going away party for her last night at the oldest restaurant in Edosaki, with very traditional Japanese food, aka lots of raw fish. I sort of picked at the stuff until the end of the night when the soba noodles were served. I was way down with that. Soba is oishii (delicious). Some beer and sake was poured. I was invited by one of my head teachers and some other teachers to come with them at the end of November to Kyoto (Japan's old capitol) to go to an Onsen (a natural hotspring). They said they've never invited a foreigner to come with them on one of those outings, it's a thing they just do together, but they want me to come. I said I'd like to, even though I think it means I'll be getting naked with them. I don't have a problem with that in general, but I'm not used to getting naked with like, you know, coworkers. I'll just pretend I'm back in junior high and high school P.E. and it'll all feel familiar again, I imagine.

As mentioned, the food at the restaurant last night was pretty traditional. I ate a few pieces of raw fish and have decided the white looking fish is easier to eat raw than red colored raw fish. It tastes less fishy. I can soak it in soy and wasabi and just taste the burn instead. Today, too, the school lunch held a wicked little surprise for me. A piece of chicken, bread with chocolate to spread on it (yes that's right, chocolate) and a bowl of noodles and spinach. Sounds pretty decent in general. So I start eating the noodles and am thinking, oh these noodles are so good, and the kids are downing them like crazy. Then I look into my bowl and really look at them, I mean really look, and notice the noodles have eyes. I almost hurled. I'd seen these things before and just forgot about them, I guess. They're tiny fish that look like thin noodles or sometimes a big one looks like a bean sprout. After last night's shrimp, which came out in its shell with its eyes and feelers and all the shrimpy stuff we usually take off before serving it to people back in the states, I was really just done with the whole food with eyes shtick. The students asked me why I didn't like it and I said they have eyes (mei) and it makes me feel nervous to eat food that can look at me. They thought that was pretty funny, though ultimately they just went back to lapping the fishies down. I am really open to a lot of different kinds of food, tons of different kinds, but I'm not a seafood boy in general, and seafood with eyes is just that much harder for me.

I will miss Ohama sensei. She makes me laugh so much. I enjoy being in her classes most. I imagine for the next month I won't wake up with as much enthusiasm, but who knows, maybe I'll start enjoying someone else's classes better. Looks like Kiuchi sensei and I will be taking over for Ohama sensei, too, and her kids are just the best students in general, so we should still have fun with them. Ohama came over to me last night at her party and asked me to please take care of her students for her. She was so motherly about it, sighing with relief when I told her, mochiron, of course.

This Sunday is Culture Day, which means the students are putting on skits and singing songs for their parents at the school. I have to attend because I'm in one of the skits. I play a student in a Japanese classroom and one of the students plays me, the foreign teacher. Very funny. I am giving him one of my shirts and ties to wear because everyone will immediately know he's supposed to me then, since I'm the only person here who wears colored dress shirts, and he's going to give me his student uniform to wear, which the students think makes me look handsome. I think it makes me look like I'm going into the marines.

That's about all for now. Looking forward to making some Thai curry at home tonight. No eyes for once.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Then I look into my bowl and really look at them, I mean really look, and notice the noodles have eyes. I almost hurled."

i wanted more action and earthquakes from your blog, but naked fine-dining is pretty damn good.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

being Dutch by heritage I am no stranger to chocolate on bread (i like sprinkles better than spread, tho, mmm) but noodles w/ eyeballs just grossed me the freak out like you don't know...

cuz eew.

amber.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Noodles with eyeballs? Oh my and I was looking so forward to my visit to Japan! Not sure I will down those babies. Maybe just close your eyes and swallow. Talk to you soon. Love you, Mom :)

12:49 AM  
Blogger Beth Adele said...

Chocolate on bread is good! And my girlfriend is now reconsidering any desire to go to Japan based on the noodles-with-eyes. I still want to go. :)

So sorry to hear about your loss of an anchor with Ohama sensei leaving. I know how it feels to be in a place so strange and have one person start to feel familiar and dependable... I remember feeling like a four-year-old so much of the time in Peru, clinging to my mother's pant leg. I look forward to hearing about who steps in to fill her place for you.

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude...that's gross. I will ask my mama on the weekend what the noodles-with-eyes were, and make a note always to look in the bowl. I wouldn't put it past my grandma to pull this stunt on me when we visit Japan next year! :)

Lisa

3:50 PM  

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