Sunday, October 09, 2005

Mystery Markets, Okonomiyaki, Sake Matsuri

I found my first snake. I decided to venture out into the outlands of the map we were given. I had already been to the grocery store called Youme Town, but there was another place on the map that said "Market" so naturally, I expected to be able to find something. Well, I guess I must have followed the map well enough, but maybe just the map is wrong, because when I spoke with these 3 elderly Japanese women, they were confused by where I wanted to get to. They sent me off to the Seven Eleven. By this time of walking and heat I decided at least they know that there is a Seven Eleven in this direction so I went there and bought two subs. A lot different kind than in the states...these were with soba noodles, egg, ketchup, and maybe a little mayonaise. Tasty nonetheless. Afterwards, to satiate my curiosity about this mystery market, I took off in the direction of where this market should be. Turns out there was also a convenience store on the map, but it seems the convenience store is being renovated because there was a construction crew there, I guess my market could have had the same fate. Well, I guess that attempt at shopping went completely wrong. Oh well, I did get to have a nice conversation with the 3 old ladies :)

I had classes today, Japanese Economy and Analytical Study of Historical Landscapes. Japanese Economy was very fine, it's in English. Then, I had Historical Landscapes. This class I found out is completely in Japanese, while the texts used are in English. Well, maybe if it was just in normal Japanese it could be fine, but the class is using very specialized terms, monastery, abbey, fief, knight's service so I cannot understand much at all. I talked with the professor about my taking the class. I decided that I can take this class, but just not worry about the assignments. It would be much different but I feel my speaking skill is really not up to par for this kind of class. I'll just audit it and learn from reading the texts and paying attention in class. I'm sure I can still learn so much from this class even if I don't receive any credits from it.

Then! When I returned to my dorm, I opened the door to the floor and these two guys were peeking out of their doors. Turns out they planned to have a kind of introduction party with me! My Japanese skill is still a problem talking wth these guys, but I hope I can become their friend and speak lots and lots of Japanese. Tonight we are going to drink Osake at 9. Everybody is giving me a nickname to call them by, so I just met Dai and Gatchi. I guess one guy a few doors down is studying English, so hopefully we can communicate much much better tonight when he comes. Wow, I don't know that this kind of thing would happen in USA... I'm very happy to meet everybody. Akihiko, Dai, Chin, Low, Hiro, Gatchi, Odoya kun, hajimemashite, douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.

On Wednesday night we all went to Hibiki for some Okinomiyaki...all I can say is that I wish I had a bigger stomach like Gatchi. He ate his, and one piece of mine and one of Chins. This stuff is soooo good. Its got like egg, cabbage, noodles, cheese, and special kind of teriyaki sauce that you can only get in Hiroshima. Actually this Hiroshima style Okinomiyaki is special to Hiroshima. Oh man, it's so good! The moment it hits your lips is pure bliss..haha. Well maybe not that good, but pretty good.

Saturday, I went to Sake Festival with the international students and met up my tutor there. Pretty much we just walked around for a while until Takuyan showed up from his experiment. The people I was with up until then just wanted to get small samples of sake from the breweries and we did that. Then we hit up the ethnic street for a little food. I had a Sri Lankan style chicken roll. Funny that there was a Canada stand there, and I said "Oh, Canada, what could they have to contribute to ethnic cultural activities?" Hehehe. A little later Takuyan showed up and we got some more substantial food. I forgot the name but its Chinese bread with pork inside. Then we asked the group if they were ready to go into the Sake area, but I guess they didn't want to. It cost 1500 yen to enter, but you cannot re-enter at will. Well, Takuyan and I went inside, as part of the 1500 yen we got awesome little sake glasses. Our personal sampling cups. There were more than 150 shops inside the sake area! Thats a lot of sake! Inside was a little weird, because just you could tell people had been there all day and had too much. Ippai nonda, na~. We can't have Joe Camel anymore, but the Sake Matsuri Raccoon is sure a hit with the kids!

Carlie, Danny, Conspicuous Sake Raccoon Posted by Picasa

A funny story about the drunk people. I wore my Yoshinoya T-shirt, and I got so many compliments on it. But, there was one old guy he came up to Takuyan and I and pointed to my T-shirt and said that he liked it. Then he continued to talk about something, I could not understand because he was obviously drunk and, coincidentally, that doesn't help Japanese speaking skill. Well, he talked for maybe 10minutes about something, Takuyan and I nodding our agreement. After he left, I expected to get some kind of translation about what the old guy was saying from Takuyan, but the old man was so drunk. Even Takuyan only understood that he liked my T-shirt! Haha! Both Takuyan and I didn't understand any word that came out of his mouth besides for his pleasure from my T-shirt.

A little afterwards, we got out of the tent. We went to see his girlfriend's restaurant. It's such a nice restaurant, I think the name was Fugumai. It's a very traditional restaurant and all the waitresses are girls in kimono. It's such an expensive place because of this and you can buy pufferfish! Yea, the poisonous one! Takuyan said he and I should go there sometime. Alright! I could also tell how nice of a restaurant it was because Takuyan started using such formal humble Japanese when he was there. I followed his example, bowing and saying my arigatoo. I got to take a picture with the girls....

Takuyan's girlfriend is on the far left...(I am in the middle) Posted by Picasa



Anonymous dad said...

hey Phil
is historical landscapes a class for no credit??

1:36 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

well initially i planned to take it for credit, but i found out that day that the class lecture is in japanese. so i talked with the prof after class and i decided its prolly gonna be a good thing to go to the class, but i dont think im gonna be able to learn all the kanji and that stuff to take the test at the end of the class. so ill just go and listen, hopefully pick up on a few grammar and vocabs that i can use.

11:41 PM  

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