These past 2 weeks: food (この二週間前：食べ物)
Food. Everyone's favourite thing when travelling. When you travel and are surrounded by new smells and sights, you decide to take the plunge to try even more new things. To truly immerse yourself with a culture. I've tried a few new foods these past two weeks. Some friends at my school first asked me if I had ever tried takoyaki (たこ焼き), small ball-shaped appetizers made with flour-based batter and with octopus in the middle. The fact that it had octopus threw me off and made me not want to try it. I told my friends that I hadn't and they seemed shocked at that, so they invited me to eat takoyaki with them after school at the little store in front of the station. A part of me did want to try it so I said sure, I'll go. So off we went (after school) to that little shop.
We ordered 6 per 2 people. The person that I was sharing with ordered it with all the toppings. When the server gave us our food I was excited and hesitant at the same time. I took the plunge and put the first one into my mouth. At first it was pretty good. Then I got to the octopus. You couldn't actually taste the octopus but the texture of it was squishy and dense and very much not to my liking. Overall though, I enjoyed it and I would eat it again. Later on that week, at the same store, I had my first kakigōri (かき氷), Japanese shaved ice. It was my first ever shaved ice too. It had way too much syrup and I didn't really enjoy it all that much and I wouldn't have it again. I think once was enough for me. Later on that day, I also had my first okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), a savoury pancake. My host mom at the time made it. I wasn't expecting it too be very good but I was surprised when I took my first bite. I would definitely like to have it again during my stay here.
So during my third week or so I was going through a host family change. The family just didn't pay attention to me. But because of that (the day of the move out was a weekend) I got to hang out a bit with one of the CIEE staff members and we went to Kiyomizu temple and Inari. At kiyomizu we had lunch and I got to try yuba (湯葉) which is basically tofu skin. You were given a pan and a little portable stove top, the batter was already in the pan and you wait for it to bubble up and grab it. It was pretty weird but if you like tofu you probably would like this too.
I've also gotten to try lots of little snacks and candies that I've been offered by classmates. I've been having a pretty good time if I must say so myself. And I hope to try many more snacks and foods in the 9 months left that I have here.