Food and Drink

[Taylor]

I have learned a few things about food and drink in the past week that are worth sharing.

School Cafeterias

I eat the food served at my school’s cafeteria on almost a daily basis.  It’s cheap ($2.40 – $4.40), healthy, and plentiful.  Eating lunch and conversing with my fellow teachers and/or students is something I look forward to every day.

Over the past two months, as I slurped ramen and devoured rice, I sometimes wondered if members of the community were jealous of the teachers for having such cheap, delicious meals so readily available.  Well, it turns out they’re not jealous because they can eat at the cafeteria, too.  That’s right, the high school cafeteria is considered public property so members of the community not associated with the high school may enter and enjoy a meal.  I’ve yet to witness this event.  As a coworker explained, most adults working outside the school would (understandably) feel a little strange eating lunch at a high school cafeteria.  However, university cafeterias are also open to the general public.  In this setting it is more common to see a member of the community not affiliated with the school enjoying cheap, tasty food.

Coca-Cola Nostalgia

I mentioned to a coworker the other day that I have probably had more Coca-Cola in the past two months than I have in the past ten years.  I explained that it reminds me of home but that it also tastes a little better here.  As it turns out, Coke from Japan does not contain corn syrup.  They use real sugar, the consequences of which are delicious.

Anyway, the coworker told me that many middle-aged men from Japan love Coca-Cola.  I asked her why and she explained that it was scarce when these people were children.  It was a treat.  Now there are Coke vending machines on just about every corner.  Not only do the men still find the beverage tasty, it also brings back happy memories of their childhood.

Just when you think you’ve seen it all…

Autumn is in full-swing in Japan which means some of the vending machines and many of the convenience stores now offer hot drinks in cans.  Most of these beverages belong to one of the following categories:  coffee, tea, or hot cocoa.  The other day, however, Julie spotted this:

Yep, you’re looking at a small can of hot corn soup, complete with real chunks of corn.  I don’t recommend it.

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