Now that school has started I’m going to aim for weekly posts.
A professor invited us to a festival at his kids’ school out by Futago-tamagawa, and I and a classmate headed over on Saturday around noontime. It’s an international school, and thus an international festival. When trying to find our way there from the station, we decided on a “follow the foreigners” strategy that worked out pretty well.
So let’s be honest. Why does anyone go to these kinds of generic outdoor summertime festivals?
Since this isn’t my first time to Japan, and I’ll be here for a while, I felt perfectly okay abandoning the “try to eat Japanese food” mantra early in the game. I’m going to eat Japanese food every day for six hundred plus days. There’s no use keeping it up when surrounded by cheap, delicious international offerings.
Food was divided up into country-specific tables. Britain, America, and Canada were pretty amusing. Britain and Canada at least felt like they had picked their regional foodstuffs well: Britain had some little meat pies, Canada had maple syrup (with a little bit of pancake to go with). America was phoning it in with coffee smoothies and pork sandwiches, but I guess those two things do say “America” to me. Of course I’m biased and more prone to seeing America as lacking culture: because not only is it my culture, it’s the culture most of the rest of the world aspires to/absorbs/assimilates, so I see it as a null value instead of on par with the “other” that is everybody else.
So okay, America. Caffeine and meat sandwiches. I can see that.
My classmate and I did a circuit before I picked up a spicy lentil-filled fried bread pocket thing and she grabbed a falafel. You really can’t go wrong with fried bean bread things. We wandered around the rest of the grounds – there was a stage, where a line of kids playing the recorder gave us both flashbacks to our school days in the States, and various games and crafts that people a decade younger than we are would have been too old for so we passed. That bouncy house did look fun, though.
However. Cow milking contest? Where do you even rent these things?
We bumped into another classmate, but never did see the professor who invited us (or another that our classmate told us was roaming about, whose kids go to the same school). One more trip back to food, where I got a soft pretzel from Germany–and yes, IOM, it was disappointing, because it was cold and let’s face it I’ve just set the bar too high–and my friend got a different fried bean thing from Tanzania’s table. Then we headed back. All in all a good day: greasy foods eaten, people chatted with, vitamin D absorbed.
Now back to work.