Thursday, August 11, 2011

My First Enkai

Posted Aug. 12
Written Aug. 7th
Happened Aug. 5th

nkais are essentially parties with your co-workers, where there is food and drinking.  My visit school (the school I go to once a week) threw one as a welcome/goodbye party for the outgoing and incoming ALTs (there were 2 of each).  It was the first time I met anyone from this school.  I was very nervous, especially as I have a long history of making terrible first impressions (hello big hole in the bum of my pants on the first day of uni, and spewing in Scotland).  I thought this would be no exception as the day was hot, really hot and I felt sweaty and gross!  I booked it home after working all day at my base school changed clothes as quick as I could and continued hustling to make a stop at an ATM then to the restaurant.  All in all about an hour of speed walking in the humidity (some of which was done in heels.)  So I was a bit sweaty, and I managed to make my foot bleed in the process.  At an American party the foot thing would not have been an issue.  But our Enkai was in a traditional tatami room where you take off your shoes before entering (and sit on pillows on the floor).  Needless to say I looked a mess.  However, it didn’t seem to matter everyone was very kind, and I had a lot of fun.  I tried plenty of new foods (which I ate successfully with my chop sticks).  Some of which was delicious, some of which did not agree with me quite as well.  One shrimp looking thing in particular had good flavor but a dreadful texture.  And there was something green that I felt like I was chewing forever that was not my favorite (It looked like delicious avocado, but sadly was not).  On the plus side I enjoyed some excellent sashimi (couldn’t guarantee it, but yellowtail is a specialty in the area so may have been that) and a brothy pork dish with some vegetables that was quite superb.  All and all, the evening seemed to go really well.  The school even has a gymnastics club ( that sadly has had some flagging membership it’s down to 2) so they have asked me to join, which I am pretty excited about even though I suspect getting back into it will hurt.  After the work party I met up with some other local ALTs and did karaoke a very fun way to finish the night. 

When I get a chance I will post about exploring my town, and about hiking Tateyama Mountain. 

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