Now I have summer vacation for nearly a month and a half. Hopefully I don't piss it off like I did last year sleeping all day and staying up late at night. We'll see how it goes.
But on the last day, the kocho-sensei (principal) comes up to me and says, "Have you had lunch?" I was a taken a bit back by his question because up until this point he's only spoken to me twice. I told him no, and he then said "Meet me around the front of the school, I will take you to lunch." He then b-lined it for his office, and I sat there being stared at by all the other teachers.
There is some kind of funky anti-"wa" shit going on at that particular junior high.
Wa (和) is a Japanese term which has become a cultural concept of its own. Imported from Chinese, "Wa" originally meant harmony, peace, balance.
The Japanese teachers are kind of strange, quite nice, but indeed strange. There is a bad element mucking about in the school. I don't know where it stems from, but it's there and you can just feel it slithering about from the taikukan to the budojo festering its way into every nook and cranny. It's always present, and when the Kocho-sensei invited me out to lunch, well, that evil "Wa" just sprang up like a Pit Viper on Crystal Meth.
So I just jumped up, ran to get my outdoor shoes, and met him at the entrance to our school. We drove about 10 minutes from our school to this nice little restaurant that I had driven by countless numbers of times but had never stopped in for a bite. I should kick myself in the ass for that. We went in and I soon discovered the fare was right up my alley. It was a Katsu Meshi restaurant. Some of you might not have a clue what katsu meshi is, but allow me to fill you in.
Katsumeshi （かつめし）is basically a cutlet of meat, breaded in huge bread crumbs, deep fried, then placed on a generous portion of rice, topped with a special sauce and served with a side of cooked cabbage. It's actually my cities' special dish as katsumeshi originated in Kakogawa city. The restaurant is called パラーディオ, Palla-Dio, and looks much like some Italian bistro you'd see in Milan.And then it struck me why I never went, because the name was Italian and yet the store was all Japan. It seemed odd to have an Italian name for a cutlet and rice restaurant. But Palla-Dio was kick ass! I recommend it to anyone in the Kakogawa area.
So we went in and gorged on the katsumeshi which was superb. We chat it up about education, about the Touching Toilets policy he is trying to bring to the school, and so on. And then the principal tells me that the owner of the shop we are eating in is his former student. He goes on to tell me all about the guy, like what a naughty little boy he was, how he played kendo, that he is married with three children and so on... and minutes later the owner appears and is chatting it up with us.
I had a good time with the kocho-sensei that day. And the katsumeshi was divine! The kocho sensei drove me back to the school and then the kyoto-sensei tells me I can piss of the rest of the day at home if I want. Well, as soon as he blinked, I had my desk cleared and headed home.
By the way, if you are ever in Japan, be sure to check out the many shops that serve katsumeshi.