Days 4 and 5: Interesting foods

So I said yesterday that I wasn't really going to talk much about food, but... that was before dinner.  Dinner last night was fairly straightforward, with rice, mackerel, and some other basic stuff, except there was one dish that I had no idea what it was.  It was a bunch of long off-white strands in a little bit of clear liquid, with occasional black specks and darker lines.  I could tell it was a mix of a few different things of similar color, but I didn't know anything else. I asked what it was, but started eating before she could really answer.  It was too vinegary for my tastes, but I planned to go ahead and eat it anyway.  I really am trying.

Anyway, the answer was that it was Japanese radish, which I'd had before and was fine with, and some type of "small fish."  I was reasonably satisfied with that answer until I took a closer look at the food and realized that all those little black dots... were the "small fish's" eyes.  They were more like albino eels or something, each maybe 1/8 inch across and 1 1/2 inches long.  Yukie looked up the word on her phone, but there wasn't an English translation.  I managed to swallow what was already in my mouth, but I couldn't bring myself to eat any more of it.  It didn't help that it was also cold, and I wasn't sure if it had ever been cooked or not.  I'm okay with a lot of strange foods I've had in the past, but if it's looking back at me... that's usually where I draw the line.  Or if it obviously poses a health risk.

Breakfast today was part of a pancake/hotcake, a couple small slices of watermelon, some yogurt with raisin-like fruits and some gelatin cubes, and a glass of milk.  All fairly standard.  Here at school, I went to the cafeteria and tried the A Lunch.  It had some chicken, rice, a little bit of soup, and salad.  And I could have gotten tea, too, but I just had water.  That was pretty good, but not as filling as I was hoping after my rather small dinner and breakfast.

I think I've had more beef and chicken here than I've had fish, which seems a bit odd.  Although all the chicken I've gotten has been at school, and they do have fish available as well of course.  I'm just not a big fan of it.

Today's lessons were by far the easiest so far.  I actually already knew most of what they were going over, or had at least heard it at some point, so I only had a couple of new points to remember.  I can manage that much.  And for the rest, the review was helpful.  Still, I need to review/learn another 20 chapters worth of grammar before classes next week.  We've only got a few left that they'll cover tomorrow, but I also need to really get the ones that they've already gone over drilled into my mind.  I think I'll focus on studying the grammar for tomorrow tonight, and then learn the stuff they've already covered over the weekend.  That way I'll actually be able to fully participate in the class tomorrow, rather than just remaining a couple classes behind by studying the grammar in order.

The sky has been gray all day.  But not cloudy, just gray.  I think it's probably smog?  Yesterday was pretty gray, too, but I think it was blue over the weekend, so I'm not really sure.  At least it's not raining, though.

If anyone has any particular questions about anything in Japan, feel free to ask and I'll try to answer.  I can always ask my family here if I don't know something.  Or if you have any ideas of things I should do, I could hear those, too.

It hardly feels like I'm in a foreign country.  Everything just seems like one really long day of school so far.  Maybe it'll feel different when I hit the weekend.


  1. I'm glad you are trying the foods. I figured that would be the hardest part for you. Sounds as if you are off to a pretty normal start. Just be sure to eat enough of enough things to stay healthy.

    The classes and instructors seem to be working well with the students to insure a reasonable rate of success. You are a quick study, so you can make it up in time. Challenging.

    I was wondering about the other students in the program. Where are they from? How many schools are involved? How many students? I think it all seems fairly normal to you because of all the anime you have seen that depict schools, home life, work, etc. Those things that have become familiar to you (even vicariously) should not feel so "foreign" to you. Anyway, it should have prepared you a bit.

    Gray skies are often found in warmer climates not far from oceans. The southern half of the California coast is plagued with it, extending quite a ways inland. It is often mostly moisture above the land that just hangs there. When there is smog, too, then it tends to hang longer and heavier. The air pressure makes a big difference, as does wind or lack of it.

    I look forward to each posting. Love you! Mom

  2. Sounds like you need a few more fish eyes in your life. Don't fear uncooked fish for health reasons. You may not decide you like uncooked fish, but people have been eating it for centuries, and it's quite healthy.

    Do you sleep in a regular bed? Or a cot or a mat?

  3. Oh, and be sure to bring back something from the merger of Matsumora Fishworks and Tamaribuchi Heavy Manufacturing Concern!

  4. "...It''s...smiling at me" :)
    I've had raw fish; it wasn't particularly good or bad, just...raw, and a little extra chewy. For he most part, raw isn't too dangerous, unless you're unlucky. Rarely, it can be a danger. I guess that's why blessing the food was an important part of prayers for most of the world's history. Keep saying your prayers and keep eating :)