Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I had just chopsticked the last shumai into my mouth when a rapidly gathering circle of elementary school kids began requsting my presence outside for some event. Actually what they said was, "Mato Senseii, um....potato...go....um...potato," while gesturing at the door. I took this to mean, well, to be honest i had no idea but that is quite usual here. Turns out this particular elementary school occasionally boils large amounts of potatoes and then serves them to the students outside. Now, you wouldn't think anyone would get too excited over plain, boiled yellow potatoes but they were ecstatic and I gave in to the potato excitement pretty quick. In fact in my excitement I even missed the main point of it all, we were to throw the skins from the potatoes into the flower beds presumably to act as fertilizer, luckily I was quickly reprimanded when I tried to eat my skin and made aware of the expectations. The lunch culminated with the delightful coining of a new insult which I sincerely hope catches on. One of the 6th graders, you know how it is when you are learning a new language, was desperately trying to find some way to make fun of a fellow student in English. She fumbled around a bit until she settled quite happily on, "potato ghost."