Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Flowers of the North

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A Flower H'moung woman at the sunday market in Bac Ha.

My bag finally made it to my doorstep last night at 9:37! More pictures coming soon!

Mysteriuos Illness Strikes Beautiful Mountain School

In totally unrelated news, it seems my beautiful mountain school has been hit hard by a mystery illness, causing five of the fifteen employess to call in sick (a very rare occurance, as most teachers feel pressure to report for duty even under the harshest of circumstances). Another 3 teachers unabashedly admit to suffering the same symptoms: vomitting and diarreah. My vice principle used a rather interesting gesture to make sure I understood the Japanese word for diarreah while giving me a short examination upon my entrance to the office.

This slight outbreak has led to a visit from one of the big shots from the Board of Education, as well as an edict by the principle requiring all teachers to wear the infamous surgeon-style face masks in the building. In an attempt to find the source of this illusive illness, the vice principle has created a list of teachers and the break room snacks they`ve indulged in over the past few days . The suspects: Oshiruko (mochi, or chunks of smooth, gooey rice balls in sweet bean sauce, a traditional new year`s food), Soba mochi filled with sweet bean, tsukemono (Japanese pickles), Chilli pepper chocolate (a last minute omiyage, or souvenier, on my way back to Japan via Korea), and coconut candy (another omiyage from Saigon). So far, the sweet bean soba mochi is looking unusually suspect, and despite the risk, I feel an incredible urge to eat the last one left in the tea room...

7 comments:

Inge said...

Congratulations on getting your bag back :-). I can't wait to see your photos (I'm a big admirer of your photography skills)!

Anonymous said...

The coconut candies are so good...You should try them when they are being made and still warm from the cooker...

Mandy...

Melissa said...

Alas, I am forbidden to eat them due to a nasty dairy aversion :( I don`t think they`re too popular with the Japaneses...they`ve been in the break room 2 days and they`re not even dented! Nothing ever lasts that long in there! Even the chilli pepper chocolate got snatched up with the quickness!

Sera said...

That's a new one. Illness-inducing mochi.O__o;;

Good thing I'm not there! I *love* mochi!

Glad to hear you got your bags back alright! I can't wait to see your pictures! ^_^

Patty said...

Chili pepper chocolate! Always stock up on chocolates when leaving countries!

I hope the teachers feel better soon.

Lindizzy said...

oh no! I thought maybe it was that crazy bird flu or something. Hope you don't get sick! Step away from the mochi...lol

group 2 said...

We like it best. We think it is arranged very well,including few aspects.
On one hand,layout and appearance.We figure it stands for Japanese feature such as the sight of the building which show the history view of Japan.The hill,the stream,the river,the house,fantastic and speculer,not only the appearance,but the culture.
On the other hand,it is about function.I think it is helpful for us to understand Japan.