Expensive Pears and Sake, A Celebration

Friday was the last day I got to practice wi my kids for speech contest. I have really high hopes for everyone, but the truth is, some of them will not place. I hope they can still be happy that they participated. I made all my Takatsu speech contest students a Ganbatte present also known as a omyoji. They all seemed to like it.

It’s an origami star with they’re name on it.

All the ALTs left early that day to meet up at our Green Symphony apartment complex. Mr. Moro and Ms. Sato picked us up to go nashi picking, pear picking. Pear trees are very low to the ground, so it was difficult for me to stand up straight. Many jokes insured about my height, but I like things like that; being tall isn’t a bad thing to me.

We each got to pick two pears, then the really funny gruff owner gave us each another pear of a different type, to compare the taste he said; he grows many different pears. We chatted a bit and got to see his weighted conveyer belt machine that he uses to sort his pears into sizes. A group of five large size pears sells for 3,500 yen. That’s about $45.00, for five pears! Lol I have yet to eat mine because I was so full from what we did next!

After nashi picking, we all went to the mayor’s house for a BBQ! I will admit to not understanding why the other ALTs were so gung-ho about this event. I was more excited about seeing the mayor because I just like him; he’s really funny and cute to me.

When we arrived. I was disappointed to learn that the mayor and his posse were still stuck at work and not sure when they would be able to get away. His secretary, wife, grandmothers, and son were to feed us all the same. It felt strange to eat without him, but the minute I tasted the meat, I found it difficult to stop and easy to understand why the girls had such enthusiasm for this BBQ, THE MEAT WAS DELICIOUS! The secretary even told us that they told the butcher to pick out the best cuts!!! I felt very royal. Hahahaha!

E mayor also has his own special beer on tap, which I felt was quite delicious and I don’t particularly enjoy light colored beer. I had a man’s beer mug, three of them!

The mayor even has his own takoyaki maker (Tako is octopus and yaki is fried, BBQed, or cooked). You fill the semicircles halfway with batter, then drop a few yaki pieces in, then dribble a hand full of shredded cabbage and other veggies on top, the cover with a healthly dose of batter! You use a pick like tool to flip them around and around slowly shaping them into a nice ball shape. Cover with a sweet sauce, sweet mayo, furikake (fish flakes), and some unknown green seasoning. They are fun to make and even more fun to eat!!

Angela decided to try her hand at becoming a takoyaki master. Hers came out delicious! I was eventually summoned to try as well. I didn’t do too hot, but struck a great pose and evens started singing whilst I made my batch. After singing again with Hayley and Angela, I was proclaimed I was the Takoyaki Hime, or Fried Octopus Princess!! Lol

Soon after this, the mayor’s people and the mayor himself showed up and joined the party. They told him my new nickname and now i believe that might be the only thing he knows me by!! Hahaha!! But as I’m sure you all are aware, I like that. I leaned over and told the mayor I thought his beer was delicious! He immediately asked me if I liked Japanese beer. I told him I liked sake more, which caused him to automatically demand for his sake. he poured me and Angela some. I was shocked at how smooth and good it was. a million times better than the beer, but then beer sort of has its own place. After two sake cups of that (little grey cups inlaid with gold swirls) it was about time to leave. We received fresh veggies from the mayor’s garden plucked by the mayor’s grandmother herself, as well as fried mochi (pulverized sticky rice), as well as a special kind of lightly pink colored rice with red beans in it used at special occasion parties. All of these things came right from the mayor’s garden, the place he grew up. Angela and I were requested to sing and shortly after all the ALTs were carted home.

On the car ride home, Mr. Moro proceeded to tell me that the sake I had been drinking was most likely seriously expensive. I immediately responded, a smile on my face, “it’s nice to have friends in high places!” Hahahahaha!

Angela started singing “Friends in Low Places.” I joined in as Brianna laughed in the backseat at us. Of course this led Angela to explaining and allowing Mr. Moro to listen to the song before we arrived home.

All in all, a great night.

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