Friday, February 3, 2012
I have enjoyed eating school lunches. They are well balanced and nutritious. Today, I had some kind of tiny, sweet fish with nuts, chicken with veggies in a cream sauce and milk. Lunch is a daily ritual shared by all. Each student has the responsibility of handing out trays, dishing out food, and cleaning up. Even the teachers get involved with the lunchtime activities. For example, I was responsible for handing out trays to the faculty and dishing out food. I learned that the chop sticks must be placed on the tray in a certain way. The milk must be placed on the far corner of the tray. It’s amusing to be corrected by the teachers when I improperly place a dish on a tray. Serving a meal is like taking a driver’s test. There are so many silly rules for doing something simple. I’m not sure why it’s that way. I once placed the milk on the top right corner of everyone’s tray. A teacher promptly relocated the milk to its proper place on every tray. Good grief! I purposely placed the chop sticks to point to the right (they should be pointed to the left) just to see if I would be corrected. Sure enough…someone turned those sticks in the other direction. I wonder what would have happened if my tragic mistake was overlooked? I think that such a violation of cultural practices would have made the headline news on NHK. I could have been deported for exposing kids to misaligned chop sticks. My eyes are twitching just thinking about it.
How much does a school lunch cost? I’m glad that you asked. A one month subscription cost 4100 yen. That’s a heck of a deal! Each day, a student visits the teacher’s room and invites me to have lunch with their class. The students enjoy eating lunch with me and I get a kick out of answering their questions in English.