Friday, August 31, 2007

In which the author does not repent

I am continuing my torrid affair with Japanese food.

This first one is me eating okanomiyaki. It's a kind of pancake thing where you order what you want in it (in this case pork and cabbage) and you get a bowl with the ingredients and batter mix in. You then cook it on the hot table in front of you. It's extremely good!

It never fails to impress me how beautifully the traditional food is presented here. You just look at it and think 'wow'. I'll try and go through what I remember. Going from the near right the white bowl was a dip, the red/black covered bowl is miso soup, a bowl of rice with dried fish seasoning, the whitish blue bowl with tiny wooden spoon is a smokey flavoured egg mixture (weird, but really nice), the blue bowl next to it a seaweed salad and next to that a glass of tea. The box behind had the main goodies. The bottom left compartment holds shrimp and vegetable tempura, the bowl was a kind of tofu in sauce I think? The top right (which sadly isn't very visible due to my crappy photo skillz) were pieces of really fresh raw fish with dipping sauce (I only recognised the tuna) and the top left had a cherry tomato, mushrooms and a little bit of octopus.

It was awesome.

Forget teaching, I'm just going to eat my way through Japan.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Oh Japan, you delicious terrifying country

Yesterday I ate a bag of crisps (chips) the size of my torso. And then felt (deservedly) sick. Usually I'm not a savoury snack kind of person, but there's a weird thing here that makes you buy anything western you see, as if it were coated in gold leaf and contained your salvation. I went to Nagoya to get a reentry permit put on my passport and bought a big bag's worth of western food from the foreign food store there. Nagoya is about an hour and a half away by train so given that I won't be making the trip very often I thought I'd stock up on a few days.

I then spent the last three days demolishing it. And the last two days paying the gastronomical price for my gluttony.

The thing is, food is good here. Or rather, generally speaking, the food I eat here tends to be quite good for me. I don't really like the chocolate here and the Japanese pallet doesn't run to the over sweet (curry doughnut* anyone? How about hot shrimp*?) which cuts out a lot of the big 'craving' foods for me. Though I've formed a new attachment to Hagen Daaz green tea flavoured ice-cream, they only sell it (and most other ice-cream) in single serving tubs. The fact that I don't ride a bike also means I do 40 minutes walking a day here (20 minutes to work, 20 back, with books and a laptop on my back in blistering heat) and I'm telling you nothing fells better afterwards than some chilled (though sadly, horribly expensive) fresh fruit out of the fridge, and an icy bottle of green tea.

Speaking of green tea, the Japanese people have yet to find a food they couldn't put green tea into. I'm trying to compile a list of everything I see to then find the strangest item. Current participants:

Green tea pocky
Green tea kitkat (really gross)
Green tea doughnut
Green tea belgium waffle
Green tea yoghurt
Green tea ice-cream

I will add to the list with latest sightings as and when is necessary.

*Oh, I only wish I was joking, Mister Donut you make me sad.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reconnected at long last

Hurray! I'm back. Internet has been installed in my apartment as of about half an hour ago so expect much more regular updates from now on. Speaking of being connected, have a look at the picture below and tell me if you notice anything absolutely awesome...

Monday, August 13, 2007

I'm here!

Though my Internet is limited to school only at the moment.

I figured I'd give you all a quick run through of what's going on now, else I'll have to do a post with too much in it and end up not saying anything at all.

I feel very stupid here. Without any Japanese I don't seem to be able to function by myself for the most basic of things, but it's different because I can't just guess, or even look it up in the dictionary easily. It's quite a bit of money but I think I'm going to invest in an electronic dictionary, one that will let me write in the kanji and just have it spit the word back at me.

Japan has never met a food they couldn't add green tea to. Green tea flavoured pocky? Surprisingly delicious! Green tea flavoured kitkat? Not so much.

I was thisclose to buying green tea flavoured hagan daaz, but restrained myself at the last moment.

Other Japanese foods I have tried include mizu manju (水万寿) (a type of ball made of a sweet red filling, wrapped in a clear [and I'll admit somewhat suspicious looking] jelly goo type of mixture), and tako-yaki (たこ焼)(a piece of octopus wrapped in some type of white sauce with onion, then breaded into a ball and deep fried). Both were magically good (I know! It shocked me too!).

Saturday, August 04, 2007


I'm leaving in less than 24 hours, have just got back from my mum's (who lives 3 hours away), haven't finished packing (well, I have, but I haven't finished the weigh-cry-unpack-repack-repeat portion of my evening), my baggage is overweight and so am I.

Oh, and I didn't weight in. Tough cookies kids - I could do it right now but I'm not. When I get a new scale sorted in Japan I'll get back to it, although my weights will be in kilo's which will screw up my table, sigh.

Doh, I wish I could just cut out the crap of the travel, baggage, flight, orientation thing and just be at my new apartment right now.

I'm not sure when I'll have Internet access again though folks. It depends how fast I can sort it at my new place, possibly a month or more.

I'll be back, I promise.