Since the previous entry I have had 2 more comical food related conversations with the teachers at school:
The first was with our head teacher, Yamasaki Sensei, as I had to explain to him that I didn’t really eat dairy (he noticed my ongoing avoidance of the full fat milk carton in my school lunch). Put on the spot I couldn’t remember the word for soy milk…but did approach him 10 minutes after our conversation armed with the phrase ‘I drink soy milk’ (watashi wa tonyu o nomimasu…for those of you playing at home). A 5 minute explanation on the topic ensued with him wanting to know how to spell and say ‘soy milk’ in English…he found it quite fascinating that we actually have soy in Australia.
The second incident came after my return from Tokyo this week. Kocho Sensei obviously had our last exchange fresh in his mind and made a comment about the weather being sunny. I replied with a ‘yes, it is’. Taking this as encouragement to extract further conversation from me, he asked about my trip to Tokyo…where did I go, what did I do, who did I go with? No problem…check, check, check. I should have known that this was all going too smoothly and that I was going to put my foot in it soon. Kocho Sensei then asked the inevitable…what Japanese food did I eat in Tokyo? Of course on this vital question I froze…what had I eaten over the 5 days that I could say?!
Rather embarrassingly, the first thought that popped into my head was ‘Izakaya’. For those of you that don’t know, Izakaya is actually more renowned for drinking…the fact that you get food there is more incidental than anything. It was only after the word popped out of my mouth, I realised my error. Once again I was met with chuckles from the nearby teachers and Koguchi Sensei was kind enough to explain to Kocho Sensei that perhaps I prefer drinking to eating?! At this point I am fairly sure I was beetroot red and wondering how best to repair the damage…quickly. BUT Kocho Sensei thought this piece of information was fantastic and then launched into asking if I drink beer! Sadly I had to admit that no I don’t, but that I do like Umeshu…Japanese plum wine. This new piece of information was taken well, as the teachers are continually surprised at how much I love Japanese culture, food and now obviously alcohol! As Kocho Sensei wandered back to his office with a smile on his face I felt like my street credit stocks had just gone through the roof.
Bless the Japanese and their acceptance, even when you come across as an alcoholic fool butchering their language…