Nov 19, 2011

Build Me Up Buttercup

That song's been in my head for a bit this evening.  A nice change from the usual mix of Anpanman songs that get stuck in my head.  I guess it's only natural that happens though since i hear the songs multiple times on an almost daily basis.  
Been working a lot more hours than when i first started as an 'official' employee, which is fine.  Mama Ann (my Filipino coworker) needed shorter shifts because of her hip/back problems, so we traded hours.   More hours equals more money!  Initially my days off were Friday and Sunday, but the past couple of weeks there've been no Saturday students, so i've had three-day weekends.  Despite that, i'm still working about 40 hours a week anyway, about 10 hours a day.  The work isn't stressful, but it is physically quite exhausting.  Imagine lifting 10-12kg weights all day.  Weights that wiggle and squirm in your arms, scream and cry in your ear, leave rancid poos in their diapers for you, run (or crawl, really) amok when you put them down and throw toys and books around and blow raspberries when you feed them, spattering drool and food bits all over.  I can't lie, they are still adorable and i enjoy being with them and watching them grow and learn and acquire new skills.

Wednesday i went with my boss and a couple coworkers for a little nomikai (drinking party) after work.  We went to a neat little local place not far from the daycare, run by a couple of old biddies who were losing their memory and hearing, it seemed!  We all had the all-you-can-drink meal.  A bunch of small dishes were brought out in succession- first some sort of fish liver with wakame seaweed and some sort of dressing.  I passed on that one.  Then was a really amazingly delicious tempura fig.  It was a rather large fig, at least compared to the ones i remember seeing on my aunt's tree growing up.  Still, really really good!  Then we had a type of "mountain potato", cooked with butter, which was also really good.  Finally, the huge nabe hot pot was brought out and i had my first experience with nabe, as well as fugu!

You can see some pieces of the fugu on the left, between 9 and 10 o'clock, if this were a clock face

Veggies, mushrooms, tofu, and fugu were thrown into the hot pot of water in the middle of the table, and once it was all cooked we each helped ourselves straight from the pot with our chopsticks, dipping the stuff into some ponzu sauce.  When all of it was eaten, one of the old ladies brought out rice and a couple of eggs to add to the remaining water in the pot.  Super yums!  And at the end of it all, my boss insisted on paying for me.  He keeps telling me he wants to be my Japanese dad, so that's really nice, and while of course i still offered up some money he refused, and who am i to refuse a free meal?  ;)

Rained all day today but tomorrow is supposed to be mostly sunny, so i think i'm going to go out to the local Aeon Mall or Ito Yokado in search of a little toaster oven.  We'll see how that goes, and i'll write about the rest of my uneventful weekend later.


Judith said...

Uh that pot looks really good. I need to try nabe when I'm in Japan. But I don't know if I would dare eat it with fugu in it. What does fugu actually taste like?

-phx- said...

Hm, well i'm not really sure what the actual fugu tasted like.. i guess it's kind of like tofu in that it doesn't really have much of a flavour but it absorbs whatever flavour it's cooked it. The rest of the nabe was delicious, and so was the fugu. It has a really nice texture to it too. :) To be honest i'm really not much of a fish fan, but i'd say definitely give it a try!

~* Shaly Monster *~ said...

ohhhh!! i had nabe last saturday too with MY j-rents!! haha. that's so nice that you have a j-dad now. i think we all need a j-family~ they really give you the feeling that you're blending into the culture! not to mention that it's nice to have people around who genuinely care about you <3 especially if they treat you all the time XD

Jason said...

That sounds absolutely yums!! I have yet to try fugu, though. and you and shaly are lucky, with your j-rents and j-dads...all I have is my bitchy/senile manager, and she is one stingy bitch. lawl!

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