Thursday, June 08, 2006

One week in

Hello all,

Well, today is one week that I have been here, and I am really starting to like it. The chemistry stuff is about the same, and I have none of the stress of trying to do the school stuff at the same time. I can communicate with most of the people in the lab and get by without talking to others. And my biggest fear is all but gone.

The thing that I was most scared about when I got here was the food. A neighbor said that all I would be able to eat was "raw fish, raw fish, and more raw fish." This gave me much concern because both of the times that I tried sushi, I could barely swallow one piece. I thought that I would come back looking like a starving person that had just been through a famine. The first day I got here, I went to the cafeteria for my first meal, and had some chicken curry. It wasn't the greatest, but I thought to myself, at least I won't starve. As it turns out, since then I have not had the curry again, and I have not had the same thing twice (besides rice, which I have had for every lunch and dinner accept two). The most surprising thing is that the curry turned out to be the worst thing here. I am beginning to like the food here better than the great "Fresh Food Co." back in Alabama.

A couple of days ago I had some of the best chicken I have ever eaten. It was seasoned like a grilled chicken, but much moister. I have eaten chicken most of the time, but am starting to even move away from the wide variety of ways to serve it. Yesterday, we went to the cafeteria, and I asked someone what one of the items (which appeared to be some kind of breaded chicken to me) was and I thought he said pumpkin. I thought to myself, he must just be confused, or I must not be hearing him right, so I asked again, and the reply was the same. I decided that I would be adventurous and try whatever it was, and guess what. It was pumpkin, for the main dish. I had never heard of such a thing, but it was great. The miso soup and had some tofu in it, but I am even beginning to thing tofu is ok.

For dinner, we went out to a Japanese restaurant for the first time. It had a big 24 hrs. sign on the top so I guess it is something like IHOP (just no pancakes). The menu was very different than one from the US. The menu was one that folded up like I am used to but on each flap was one type of meat at the top of the column. Under the main meat down the page was each of the different pictures of ways to have it (topped with cheese or some kind of red vegetables or green vegetables with egg). Then you just had to choose the sized (small, medium, large, or extra large). I chose the pork and almost had the green vegetables and egg, like one of my friends, but decided on cheese instead. We called the waiter over, and in about two minutes, he brought out our steaming food (I got the meal with some kind of salad and miso soup). I then realized that the egg was raw and was very glad that I had chosen the cheese. The meal was so good, I could eat there every night (it is just a little too far though), and my entire meal was 430 yen or about $4.

Well, that is enough talk of food for now; I am starting to get hungry.

Till next time
Josh

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