Journals from Kanto Gakuin University
2008-11-18 Winding down
We've come into the final month of our study abroad time and you can tell. Some students are nervous about the end of the semester and the projects and tests while others look past that and are excited for a taste of home. There are many familiar things here in Japan, but often they are just different enough to still be distinctly Japanese. Some recognizable names are places like Starbucks, McDonalds, Wendy's, KFC, Costco, etc. Costco and Starbucks are remarkably similar to those you would know from the States, but more of the fast food places have a similar menu with Japanese additions; they also have smaller meal sizes for a slightly higher price. And whatever you've heard about Japanese servings is probably not true. Yes, they can be smaller servings, but they tend to make up for that by the number of dishes they have. The typical meal with a family consists of rice, miso soup, salad, and a main course that is usually no less than 2 dishes.
One suggestion I have for future students is to get together and help with food and cooking. It helps for healthier eating, it's fun and remarkably easy and cheap as a group. We've had simple meals like spaghetti with a vegetable and meat sauce. We've made our own curry with rice and beef and potatoes and vegetables. Last night we even had yaki soba with the noodles, onion, carrot and sausage and a side of rice. We made more than enough for 5 people and it was only 3$ a piece. There are lots of easy meals like this, but you have to be brave and just start throwing things in the pot. It will usually work out for the best.