Cooking Dango with Japanese Guys

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December 11th, 2009

Today was the second day of school. Yesterday, it was Otousan who had escorted us. While this time, Okaasan was the one who drove us. Maybe it was because Otousan was busy in the office. Oh yeah, I haven’t said, my host family is very fluent at English. Both Otousan and Okaasan. So there was no language barrier with them. Even if there were barriers, that was myself who wasn’t fluent in speaking … hehe. Besides, every year they usually host people (so it was not really surprising). Okaasan was one of Tottori chapter officers. They said, their two children were AFS exchange student to USA. It seemed exciting to host people every year. We can exchange culture with people around the world. ^^ I believe if we give a good image, it will be great to promote our country. Therefore, if I become a parent later, I also want to be host family every year. If my children are already adult (like Okaasan and Otousan), I and my husband don’t need to be lonely because we still have host children, hehe.

If yesterday we (I, a student from Thailand, New Zealand, the Philippines, and two Australian students) went to first grade, at the moment we went to second grade. They were very shy. However, there were some students who were so cheerful and excited, usually boys. Like yesterday, they gave questions from the paper that their teacher gave. However, they were told by the teacher not to focused on texts for the questions. Suddenly their questions were running wild, they instead gave questions like, “Do you like me?” “I want you!” “I love you!” “You’re pretty!”

It seemed they became fluent in English if they said such things! ^^’ Then, questions like yesterday were asked, “Dou you have a boyfriend?” “Which type among us?”. Hey, hey, change the question! Haha. Then they replaced into “Do you like natto?” Natto?? I often hear, but I never tried, maybe I would ask Okaasan later. Then if being asked about the most delicious food in Indonesia, I answered Soto. Haha, because I like Soto, whatever it is. From noodle Soto to all Indonesian region Soto, I like everything related to soto..hehe. Sorry, if my answer didn’t represent Indonesian. ^^’ As I brought a bamboo flute, I played a song. They immediately applauded and said, “Sugoi! Sugoi! ” Even though it was only short playing, and I could only play one song. ^^’ It had been a long time I didn’t play bamboo flute, since elementary school. As I played the same song again and again, the Thai student memorized the rythm … haha. Every class I went, the students pointed my flute and asked me to play it. Because of that, some groups told me to go to their group to play bamboo flutes. I didn’t expect the response to be as great as that, even though only one short song was played repeatedly. ^^’

In the morning, Okaasan told me to bring the crackers I brought from Indonesia to share with my schoolmates. Oh yeah, I forgot to say, besides batik clothes and some displays that I gave to host family, I brought shrimp and rice crackers up to 1 kg … hehe. Then yesterday when Okaasan prepared a dinner again, I gave the raw crackers to Okaasan and I said I wanted to cook a few. When I cooked, Okaasan and Thai student were amazed and didn’t stop saying Sugoi. Jaa, a Thai student, even said that I would become a good wife because of good cooking skills. Haha, even though it were only crackers. ^^’ Do you know that the crackers were small, and only when they were cooked, they will be swollen and become big. It was the first time they saw something like that. 🙂 When they tasted it … Oishii!! He … Ebi (shrimp)! Okaasan was indeed good at cooking! She immediately knew the taste of shrimp. While the rice cracker that I brought had pink color, Okasaan thought it was sweet, it was salty actually… haha.

Because of that, at the moment I shared crackers with school friends … they say “Oishii !! Arigatou!”. I really wanted to show how to cook it. I also taught them Indonesian language. At first, I taught the words “selamat pagi”. As they had trouble saying the word “selamat”, instead I told “pagi” only. At last, I changed, with “nama saya …”. This one they spoke it smoothly. After finished, I distributed Indonesian souvenirs. They looked very happy.

Then we entered cooking class. At the school, there was a cooking class. We would cook dango!! Dango is Japanese food that is made from starch which is formed round and boiled, then sprinkled with kinako (a kind of soybean). In the class, there were only 5 female students, the rest were male. I forgot to say, the distribution of students at this school was not evenly distributed. There were classes with only 5-6 male students, the rest were all female students. However, there was one class had the same number of male and female students. Each class, there were 36-40 students. At the cooking class, I belonged to a group of male students. When I wanted to help, they told me to standstill and just tasted it later. I didn’t want it. I also wanted to help too, so instead I helped washing the dishes. Then, it ended up I helped them cooked too, hehe. I admired these guys cooking skill so much, really skillful. It started from cleaning to cooking, they were all so skillful! When I tasted it … really good!! Anyway, cooking class was really fun. ^^

AFS Jenesys

The last class I visited was an International class that had an AFS year-program student from Switzerland. Her Japanese was so fluent, even with Japanese accent!

Right, like Chief of International class said, international class English is better than regular classes. However… they were so shy!! The Switzerland student said, they were afraid of making mistakes. As their English was smoother, they didn’t need text from teachers to ask questions. Each group made a really exciting game! In the first group I wrote my kanji name, and it means love, considerate, and smile like flower. He … arigatou! ^^ In the second group, I played a helokitty (really funny!) A card written in English, if there was a card mentioned by one of the children, we competed to take the card. And the result … I won! Hehe .. In the 3rd group, I played the game called “Jangen”. So there were 2 tools, fake hammer and pan, then we played rock-paper-scissor, those who won took the hammer and knock the defeated one. The defeated person immediately took the pan to defense it, so that they didn’t really lose. The game was really something … haha.

In the fourth group, I was shown a Lolita-style dress, students in this group were all female and Lolita fans. In the fifth group, I was told to compile an anime character puzzle. Before composing completely, I immediately guessed this was Pikachu, this was One Piece Chopper. They all were shocked. Just like yesterday, Japanese students at the school didn’t know that their anime and manga are popular in Indonesia. And I’m also manga fan. Among them, there was a guy who claimed as an otaku. Otaku is a term for people who imagine their life like manga or anime, maybe we can call as manga or anime freak. He said, in Japan otaku was not perceived good. But he was proud to be an Otaku. Even he showed a collection of posters and anime figures. But I didn’t know those characters. In the last group, I played a set of face puzzle. So we had to put together a face while closing our eyes, and the result was the face I made came out so ugly. While the students in the group created beautiful faces. Like a magic!

After finished, we all took pictures together.

AFS Jenesys Tottori

Actually, this was the last day of school. Indeed, I went to school for only two days. I arrived at Host family’s house on Wednesday night, Thursday to Friday school program. Saturday would be free day with Host family. On Sunday, there would be Tottori chapter closing. On Monday, together with other Jenesys participants, we would head to Yokohama. After going home from school, we went to the Shodo club (Japanese calligraphy). We learned to write calligraphy. Actually anything could be written, but I wanted to write my name using Kanji that was told earlier by Japanese friends. And the result was … messy … haha.

Then sunset came. Okaasan picked me up. Before going home, I gave puppet show souvenirs to school principal. He was very happy. And he asked, “Is this your God?” He … No way!! Haha, it was just a puppet.

It was very sad that I went to the school only for two days. At last, I took a picture in front of the school. Anyway, I wouldn’t forget this school, even though it was only two days, it was so memorable.

At dinner, as usual we (me and the Thai student) talked about our experiences at school. We also showed calligraphy that we made earlier. Okaasan and Otousan said, very good. The meaning of my name was suitable for me, while the Thai student’s name is Jaa, means “night samurai”. She was just happy with it. However, Otousan didn’t agree, he said women didn’t deserve that name. So he tried to find another meaning. Then Otousan taught us how to quickly write Kanji. How fun! At the end he signed our calligraphy to be proven. ^^

Oh, it was the right time to give souvenirs! I ran to my room and I took souvenirs for Host family. I brought batik, wayang, flute, batik hat, and Indonesian postcard. They were very happy. They said it was the first time they got souvenirs from Indonesia.

After fun chatting, I felt really sleepy. I directly went Ofuro to warm up. Even though my bed was really thick (there were 5 layers of blankets on it!), somehow it felt cold if I didn’t went Ofuro first. After Ofuro, it was time to sleep. This day was very happy. Kyou wa tanoshikatta desu! Next day would be free day with host family. When we had dinner, Okaasan said that the host family of Filipino and New zealand students (they were also double host family) who has 4 years old child would have a kindergarten festival. And.. we were invited to come! After that, we would go to Tottori AEON Mall and participated in the Tea Ceremony at the house of Japanese family who hosted German student that participated in year program. Oyasuminasai! ^^

Next : Tea Ceremony

Previous : High School in Japan

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