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Monday, September 12, 2016

Stories From Japan- Those are not Onion Rings?!?!

For those of you who don't follow my blog, I participated in a short-term study abroad program. It was a lot of fun exploring Japan but I couldn't forget about my studies. I was taking two classes at a college in Japan. In order to "graduate" from the program you couldn't have anything lower than a C and you couldn't miss more than two days of class. I thankfully had no problems with these conditions. I missed only one day of class due to being terribly sick and I got a B in both of my classes. I remember on a few papers I wrote for class the teacher wrote, "You could do better." She was probably right, but I was in Japan. I was fine with earning a B.

Certificate in hand by my Japanese Literature teacher,
Anyway, everyone in my program passed and were going to receive certificates at the closing ceremonies for the program. The closing ceremony was a celebration for the students but the Japanese lunch partners and Japanese staff that helped make the program enjoyable for us guests were also invited. Now this closing ceremony had a different atmosphere than the opening ceremony because not only were all the prom attendees got closer, but we also got closer to our Japanese partners. I also remember not eating at the opening ceremony because I didn't find anything that I liked (at that time I did not get the adventurous mindset that I developed during the trip). The closing ceremony on the other hand had food that I could eat.
A friend I made on the trip and her lunch partner.
After all the formalities of getting our certificates it was time to have a good time. I remember taking pictures with as many people as possible, thinking it would be my last chance of seeing them (man, was I wrong about some of them). After running around to take pictures I finally settled down and enjoyed great conversation with a group of people while trying some of the food. I was with a few friends of mine I made during the trip and two Japanese students. I was really into the conversation until I was interrupted by a friend.

"Jennifer, I didn't know you liked squid."

What?!?! I've been very adventurous when it comes to food in Japan, but I just can't eat squid or octopus. It doesn't settle well with me. The fried ring I held in my hand looked like an onion ring to me. It was big enough to be an onion ring, and I've seen onion rings in Japan so I didn't think it was impossible for there to be onion rings at this party. But I was sadly mistaken. And my friend didn't notify me about the fact that it was squid until I already took a bite out of it. I was in front of many people, and a few of them Japanese. I didn't want to be rude by spitting it out in a napkin.

"I don't," I answered as I finished off the fried squid in silence.

I have been surprised by many different kinds of food. This was just one incident out of many. You never know what you're going to get. That fact alone is what makes it worth trying, even if you're at risk of getting something not to your taste.

I hope you all enjoyed this short little story about a food experience I had in Japan. It was one of my memorable food moments.

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