Friday, June 25, 2004

Enkai and Sports Day

Last night there was an English department enkai (party) at this really, really, really Japanese restaurant called Hirano Kappo. It was very old fashioned and the building itself consisted of about three or four rooms linked together by rickety old corridors, situated around a pond with a frog that started croaking at around 7.30.

You really wouldn't believe what I ate last night. Take the cod sperm; all the nasty fishy things that you've seen people eat in this country; the horsemeat; the natto; the stuff that looks like ossified fat on a stick - none of it comes close to how disgusting this thing I ate last night looked, and felt in my mouth. First I had to pluck it out of it's shell, which still had algi stuck to it and looked like it had just been dragged from the ocean, and when it actually gave way it landed on my plate looking like a cross between a moldy turd and one of those internal tumors that you used to find in the back of science books at school. It was a rotting green colour, and it kind of resembled a very slimy octopus leg. Of course, I snapped it up in no time, only because our new Kocho sensei sat there with a look of expectation on his face, a man on the point of judging whether or not I was a decent, worthy guy who deserved an easy summer vacation, or a pussy who needed to come in every day throughout the summer break and sit at my desk for eight hours.

I didn't get a picture of the thing itself, but kocho sensei got one. I might ask him to email it to me.

Today was school sports day, so I took it easy. Just sat around watching kids do their sports. I had a quick kip at lunchtime and read a couple of pages of my new Murakami book. The main attraction today was the 'long rope' contest. This involves a bunch of students getting together in a line and jumping a rope, a bit like skipping.

It provided all the students with a lot of fun, even if it is just group skipping. Here's another shot of a first year student who'd just one his game of ping pong. He stamped his foot really hard every time he served, which seemed to be what all the winners were doing. Perhaps it's a confidence thing.