Thursday, April 8, 2010


So on my birthday, was chatting with family and loved ones who are 6 to 13 hours behind me, which meant that I stayed awake until 4 AM haha. Woke up a couple hours after and ran (literally) to uni (good thing I spent quite some time the night before mapping the optimum route!). Finally there, met my new classmates. I'm still not very good on names yet (surprise surprise) but they all look very nice, and from many countries, including Ethiopia, Sudan, Madagascar (I like to move it move it?), China (they're everywhere!), Malaysia and so on and so forth.

Our professor (one of the professors who will be forcefully jamming Yabani into our brains) is the most energetic person I have ever met. Seriously! He's awesome. Taught in Egypt for 2 years so he speaks some Arabic also which is cool.
So the next 6 months is going to be intense! Donno how much my crappy memory will be able to handle all this Japanese haha.

As usual, learning about the food has become one of my prime objectives! So today tried some sweets. Before I get to that, the subway station nearest to my university is right under one of the biggest malls in Japan (or so my professor was telling me, it's a chain of malls). So the exit throws you right in the middle of a floor full of restaurants, plant shops and other places. So you can imagine the myriad of smells! So today, I let my nose lead the way, and ended up in front of a puffy dough with fillings shop... mmm. Don't judge me if I forgot the name (patte a choux or something?) so ate a sphere thingie with custard in it, and a ring thingie with strawberry cream in it. Too sweet for my taste but still yummy. Then at the cafeteria, ordered a new dish, Chige Nabe: Pork, tofu, squid, soybean sprouts, rice cake and noodles, in a soup flavored with miso. So although it was really tasty, it was definitely a bad choice for me for two reasons: first, it takes too much time to prepare (3 people passed in front of me :( and I was hungry of course), and it's the only dish I've seen so far that comes in a metallic bowl because it's too hot! Which means, for those that know me, I had to wait for it to cool down. Add that to the fact that eat really slowly, and you have a recipe for a disastrously long dinner...

The cafeteria however is very Japanese, designed for optimal performance! You choose from the menu at the door, you get your tray, put it at the Main dish (noodles) counter and order what you want. The lady (or guy) there starts working on it. There's a machine that has boiling water in it, and 6 places where they put "mesfeye" that they throw noodles in. So they really quickly boil the noodles, then add whatever ingredients they need in the bowl from other cook pots. So it takes on average less than one minute to get served. You then proceed to the side dish counter (this can also be done before the main dish) and order what you want. Also 10-20 second wait max, you can get your drink meanwhile. There's a machine that dispenses free water and two other drinks that I haven't tried yet. You get your chopsticks and spoon after paying at the cashier and you're set to go! After you're done, you take your tray to the dish washing counter, where (also very Japanese) the person there takes your tray with a very big smile and thanks you! Very Japanese! Watching each person work is also a sight. Just like a Swiss watch; very efficient, very precise, but also very friendly.

Other than that, had a tea party on the 7th floor of our building tonight! Don't think far-eastern people would appreciate or understand the fact that I don't like tea (or any hot beverage hehe) so I just accepted my cup with a smile and a thanks and waited for it to cool down ;) Ni-hao-san (our Polish friend) assured me that by this time next year, after I've spent a winter here, I'd be in love with tea haha. Maybe. So met lots of new people, mostly from China and Taiwan, but also Cambodia (French-speaking nice guy) and 2 Brits! Nice evening, learning a lot from them about foreigner life in Japan.

Nothing else I can think of at the moment, might talk about shop vendors tomorrow. Interesting phenomenon they are :)


  1. Kinda nice when everything is new isn't it?
    But I guess somethings never change:
    - Bad memory
    - Bad with name (I hear u there, hehe...)
    - Up veeery late and stil manage to make it to class at 8
    - Very much into food yet eat veeeery slowly :P
    - & u like to move it move it...

    hehe... PysicAly fit!!! Pysicaly fit

  2. bad memory yes, but he remembered choux paste.... heh heh naddoush son never forgets gourmet food... i like...

  3. And NEVER says salad sauce.. it's DRESSING :P
    Didi where's ur blog?