餃子、いかがですか。

2 Nov

Hello all! I’m sorry for the lack of posting. My life has been extremely busy and extremely uneventful. I’ve had a ton of work to do, so there hasn’t been much new to report.

Today I’m going to tell you about last week’s school festival, Kishibe-sai.

All of the foreign students were randomly split into groups: China, Korea, America, and Europe. We had to come up with a menu specific to our region and then mass-produce it for the festival. I was placed in China, and we decided to make gyoza (dumplings), corn soup, and ebi senbei (some really amazing deep-fried lightly shrimp-flavored chip things that melt in your mouth). Therefore, the days proceeding the festival were spent in huge groups rolling dough, mixing meat, and folding up cute little dumplings.

The folding part is amazingly difficult, but after a gazillion tries, I got the hang of it. I also took down some notes, so hopefully I can now make them on my own!

The festival started on Friday, which meant a day off from school! However, I was signed up to work 4 hours each day, so it wouldn’t be a super chill time. During my shifts, I helped make more gyoza, serve customers, and take care of the trash. A lot of people knew what they were doing more than me though, so I kind of kept to the sidelines and looked for things to keep me busy. Here’s our booth and our faithful mascots 🙂

I also got to help out with Aikido club’s booth for a little while, which was fun. They were also making grilled sandwiches, including one with chocolate and one with pizza sauce, tuna, and cheese… yum! This is them getting super excited to be photographed!

At the festival, there were all kinds of food. Cucumber-on-a-stick, chicken-on-a-stick, hot-dogs-on-a-stick (beginning to notice a pattern?), custard-filled balls of dough, hamburgers, fries, ice cream, cotton candy, you name it. The Korean booth did Toppogi (Tteokbokki, or Korean rice cakes in a spicy sauce), America did grilled cheese, and Europe did pea soup and pancakes (highly underrated! They were delicious!)

On top of that there were performances. Each of our groups did one. Later on during the festival there was a kid’s show too. There was also some wrestling, and inside the buildings various clubs had displays. My favorite was the model-building club, because they gave me delicious foodses. For some reason, there was also a place where you could pay 300 yen and try on a wedding dress and take photos.

One of the cool things about the festival was that they had a festival-wide recycling program, where each booth receives plastic plates and cups. They put the food in there and then festival-goers would return them to a central location to be washed and reused. Very effective!

Overall, I had a really good time. I think some people kind of overworked themselves, but in the end we turned a profit, which we are in the midst of arguing over what to do with.

Tomorrow is Culture Day, which means another day off (we get one every two weeks on average)! This evening, I’m going to visit the public bath, then come back home and try making Nutella-and-marshmallow-filled-gyoza (just for funsies). Basically, I’m going to be a total slacker. Tomorrow I am off to try to find some good souvenirs and get some cold-weather necessities.

You have interesting blogs to look forward to in the future, including adventures to Shikoku, a small report on dating simulation games, and–if all goes well and I can get permission–perhaps my visit to an Omoto-sponsored Esperanto class. Stay tuned!


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One Response to “餃子、いかがですか。”

  1. Carole Deily November 3, 2010 at 2:12 am #

    I got really hungry reading about all the dishes you prepared. It sounded like a very good way to learn about other cultures. ‘So glad you are enjoying all of your experiences.
    Love,
    Carole

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