this weekend seems to have been all about food. And delicious food at that. I think i've gained several pounds just from eating the last three days. That's definitely not a good thing, but the food has been fantastic, as has the company!
Friday night, I went to the Board of Education's Year End Party 忘年会. The party was held at a giant beer hall in Nago and we had a separate room. Four tables were set up and on top of which were two heaters, one with a metallic pan for sukiyaki and one with a clay pot for nabe and it was my first time for both. I guess that's a bit surprising since i've been here nearly 2 and a half years, but both dishes are commonly eaten only in fall and winter months and also they are a mainland staple rather than an Okinawan one. Both are fantastic dishes and you must try if ever presented with the opportunity. Sukiyaki is eaten by dipping into raw egg and it was actually quite tasty. And our nabe that evening was seafood.
And here's a nice little Wiki article about nabemono in Japan. The end of the year party was quite fun, actually. Everyone made a speech, even Cliff and I. I wrote mine in advance, as last year and had it double checked at school, but in the rush to leave the house on time left it at home. I remembered most of it and did a decent job, I think. After speeches, the head of the office came in dancing to Jingle Bells dressed as Santa with a sack full of presents. Everyone got something fun and useful and two lucky ladies got underwear. But actually because they were the ones who randomly received giant, white underwear they received a beautiful and somewhat expensive piece of jewelry each. Lucky!
After 忘年会 it was off to karaoke which was quite hillarious with office chief dancing like a maniac and doing pretend striptese to me singing "Dancing Queen" ha ha
The next day, I took it easy and during the day went to see how normal people live by enjoying the zooming speed of wireless on my Mac at an internet cafe. It was a very nice and relaxing 3 hours spent downloading podcasts at (to me) unbelievable speeds, watching re-runs of the "Daily Show" (it's all new to me), and some KBH on YouTube. Plus the internet cafe has an open drinks bar that includes juices, teas, coffees and ice cream. All drinks are of course machine-made, but decent enough.
That evening Brett and i talked about having our second Russian lesson and he invited me over to his place for some.... nabe! Brilliant! Him and his lovely gf cooked up a nabe fit for sumo wrestlers and i brought cake. We threw Russian words around the dinner table and then learned some more alphabet and later watched a Christmas movie that I had rented for my English Elective kids. The movie was "Surviving Christmas" with Ben Afflec and James Gandolfini and was actually quite funny! If you're looking for a light Christmas movie without Tim Allen in it, I'd recommend that one.
Sunday was cleaning and cooking day. I made a russian salad, oliv'e, for the potluck dinner at my Sunday night adult class. More food! All beautiful, home-made, healthy, delicious food! Even pizza! It was a fantastic, relaxing evening of good conversation and yummy food. My salad went over well, even though i had to subsitute corn for sweet peas, 'cause apparently Japan hasn't heard of "sweet" peas yet.
So that's my full stomach weekend. Today i'm dieting! Which is gonna prove impossible once i get home because i was given quite a few leftovers last night plus a slice of home-made cheesecake that i didn't get to try last night due to being overly stuffed already. *sigh*
Tough life, eh?