Friday, 22 April 2011

Yoshi let's get cooking!

Yoshi (the i is silent) is an expression of enthusiasm meaning alright, lets go!

If you work in Tokyo, the weekend is the only time to hang out and relax. We could have gone to the park for hanami (an outdoor party under the sakura), but it was decided that our Japanese hosts would cook us a Japanese meal.

First stop, grocery shopping. The Malaysians slipped off to get prawns, chilli, garlic and oyster sauce (couldn't find any assam jawa) and drinks to surprise our hosts with spicy 'har lok'.

Inouesan kindly offered his apartment up. The 1K (bedroom with separate bathroom/kitchen) apartment in Shibuya on the 7th floor is categorised as a mansion. In Japan, floorspace is measured by the number of tatami mats that fit the area. Apato refers to two and three story prefabricated buildings, in the burbs, where rental prices can be much lower. The problem for gaijins (foreigners), though, is that most apato's are not gaijin-friendly. The biggest hurdle is to find an agreeable local guarantor. While Nakamurasan enjoys space in an ikkodate (rented house) near Disneyland he has to deal with travel time of 3 hours a day to work and back.

Yoshi, lets get cooking . . .

The spicy 'har lok' was described as f###ing delicious. That's surely a first!

The daikon and hamachi or buri (farmed fish) and potato meat stew warmed our hungry bellies as it was almost four in the afternoon by the time we sat down to eat. A healthy and yummy meal with good company.

The Japanese devour any chance they get to practice speaking English. Although the intent was real, the actual English spoken was limited to borrowed English terms like dash (go figure?), Disneyland, roller-coaster, drummer etc. Inouesan floored us when he shared that he played the drums and made a CD. . . "back in the day". He whipped out a couple of English/Japanese language books, printed in 1965, which were more appropriate for a Masters in English Lit major.

With Sinseh Rastam recruited to teach English to his two tomodachi (friends) we toddled off to a book store and picked out a level-appropriate book with lots of vocab and grammar exercises. Their goal - to read my blog in a year and understand Steve Jobs' annual Apple market sales pitch!

They may be ganbatte about learning English but I hope they remain in a yoshi state of mind . . .

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