Saturday, December 20, 2008

Obaasan(s)

Remember back in October, how I helped my neighbor out with some Halloween parties? Of course you don't; I didn't tell you. But my Chikako teaches English out of her home, and I helped out at the Halloween and now Christmas parties. It's a ton of fun, if a little exhausting, and the kids are adorable. But she also teaches an adult class full of Japanese grandmamas, working on their English. For that class we cooked Korean food - it was so much fun!

Chikako is on the far left - she is obviously too young to be a grandmother! The food was amazing.

This week brought Christmas parties for all the same classes, and I attended again. It was great - we read Christmas books, sang a carol, and played Twister and an ornament game. What a blast! Then on Friday I was invited to join the adult class for lunch out. Hoo, nonny - they know crab in Japan.Crab claw sashimi. Then tempura. And a big box of crabby treats. And last but not least, green tea and vanilla ice cream.
The ladies are so kind, and they are very patient with my lack of Japanese language skills. They had practiced some English questions to ask me, and were shocked to hear that until recently, I had cooked rice in a POT on the STOVE?!! Apparently, rice cookers are what separate us from the animals, haha. Here's the whole group:Great crew, huh? The gifts that some people are holding up came from Chikako; I got a beautiful handbag. And she paid for my lunch, too - I'll help out at any parties she wants.

Oh, and P.S.? You know that thing where you rub your disposable chopsticks together before eating, to get the splinters off? Yeah, turns out that is incredibly rude because it implies that, well, there are splinters in the chopsticks. I got chastised.

Also obaasan means grandmother, just in case you forgot how to work Google.

1 comment:

Otenth Paderborn said...

I got chastised.

Who knew? I laughed and laughed.

It's satsuma season in the stores here now, along with clementines, and they are labeled "Japanese tangerines." Are there satsumas there at this time of year? And if so, where do they come from?

Kenneth