Monday was a really fun day! Sam and I needed a bank account for the internet to be connected to, so I went to set one up at the post office (this is a pretty small town, so we don’t have any of those huge banks around here…). When I arrived, they told me that to set one up I would need someone from my company to come with me, probably because I’m a foreigner. So, on Monday, Mai joined Sam and I at the post office. Mai, in case anyone hasn’t noticed or remembered, is my manager at my school site.
It was a very raining day and she, kindly, drove us to the post office which is down the street. She and two gentlemen helped Sam and I through the ins and outs of all the paperwork, which included a moment of “Oh crap!” when they asked us for our TIN. After looking it up, and noticing we don’t have one, we discussed it and gave them our SSN. Who knows if that was the right thing to do? The five of us sure didn’t…
As we waited for the forms to be processed, Mai, Sam and I went and looked at the food catalogs that were off to the side. Everything looked so good! I got a copy of each for inspiration when we are planning our meals.
One thing that you should know about Mai, and she will tell you from the second she meets you, is that she LOVES sweets. Instead of college she went to a trade school to become a pastry chef. Whenever I give her a present, 9 times out of ten it’s a sweet thing. The 10th time is a CD with english music burned on it.
When we finished up at the post office, we went to lunch. Sam and I have really only eaten out at sushi-go-rounds when not with Mai, so we let her decide where we would go. She decided really well.
The place? Saint Schwien
The cuisine? GERMAN!
It might sound a little odd, but it’s only fitting to have German food while in Japan because we ate Japanese food while in Germany!
While the lunch menu was a bit expensive ($19 for a prix fixe menu), we were given plenty of amazing foods. Here’s a run down of the option we all chose:
Salad: AWESOME! Came with many fixin’s. We had some sort of cured pork, thick bits of delicious cheddar, and tons of veggies, which included tomatoes, fennel, bell pepper, and… kabocha squash!
The Bread: We were each given three large pieces of bread and some vanilla bean butter. There were two half slices of a multigrain artisanal loaf and one prezel-y shaped white bun. All were warm and delicious. Also, the butter was really interesting and tasty!
The Main Dish: We all made the right choice and ordered the grill. It came out of a cast iron plate, much like fajitas do, with sizzling veggies and 8 or so sausages! Each sausage was different, too. Some had black sesames in them, one had some green that seemed like spinach, one had some paprika seasoning, and so on. There was only one that was a straight brat, and was longer than the rest.
The main dish also came out with a small pot of strong seedy mustard and a basil sauce.
Conclusion: This place was AWESOME! Even the atmosphere was great! It felt like we had walked into a little hut out of a fairy tale. The wall in the entry was covered in books, all the furniture had a rustic vibe, and the place was packed! You know a place is good if they’re charging $19 for lunch and they still have tons of customers on a rainy Monday afternoon!
After lunch we went to a different place in the neighboring town of Minamibosu. To preface this section, we are currently living in the Chiba prefecture of Japan. One of the things this area is known for is… Peanuts! Mai took us to a shop which has tons of different peanuts and peanut products. We sampled all the different styles of nut (one was really interesting. It was a boiled, dried, sugared peanut. I liked it!), bought some for ourselves and others, and then all of us had some seriously awesome peanut soft serve!
Shortly after, Mai dropped us at our apartment and we parted ways. In the end, Monday was an awesome food day! I’m glad the first friend I’ve made in this area also has a deep love of food like we do.