Soba Noodles is something Japan is famous for. But when Divya asked me to join her and her lab mates – Tadamori and Takato, I wasn’t very excited. One, it’s definitely not vegetarian, and I was too lazy to walk all the way. Yet, Divya bought me in enticing me with an awesome blog story. And trust me, that was completely worth it! With Tadamori and Takato, it was a fun trip to Soba House – a ten minutes walk from the campus. I went exclusively to explore the ambience at a Japanese restaurant, and see the Soba charm. Also was in my agenda to make fun of Divya using the chopsticks. Thanks to her, I got ample opportunities! Finally she gave up and asked for a fork and spoon. Don’t know what was more funny – she struggling with the fork or being a called ‘baby’ by Tadamori. Apparently, only Japanese babies use fork and spoon! It was my longest conversation with the natives, hence all the more exciting. I almost got the hang of dropping the prepositions while talking, and paced down myself significantly. In return, I got my name written in a chopstick set and Japanese numbers. All these days, Divya and me thought that price was not printed in packed food here. Today we realised that Arabic numerals are too mainstream for Japan, and hence they use their own numbers! We hoped to at least know the price without Google Translate until we dug the absolute truth out! To write 11 in Japanese numerals, knowing to write ‘1’ and another ‘1’ isn’t enough. It’s a whole different number! Each number isn’t made up of digits 0-9, but with an altogether different symbol. I am more thankful than ever to Google sensei and it’s Translate!
Around Soba house, we saw a 7 Eleven and a Star Bazar. Later in the evening, Divya and me again went to the place to buy some grocery. The thing about stores here is that it gives me a promise of survival every time. I saw more vegetables, more frozen vegetarian options, and even saw a cup noodles with just tomatoes and chillies! Department stores are my temples here. Every time I walk in, I am filled with inner peace and a hope of living through the next three months!
P. S. In Tadamori’s words, Google is sensei (teacher) since it teaches a lot!