Saturday, August 27, 2005
Spitting Contest Participant
Today was Day 1 of the furusato matsuri (hometown festival). I would rather have stayed home and recuperated from Sapporo, but my job here is to internationalize, so I went. I'm glad I did too, because it was loads of fun. Plenty of good fair food, sports contests and of course a few beers. The best part had to be getting to play with heavy machinery though... They had a backhoe, a bulldozer, and a fire truck there for the kids to try out. I couldn't resist the firetruck. I went up in the cherry picker basket and saw the town from up on high. It was very sugoi. I got to wear a fire helmet and everything. I went up with a couple of very nice little girls who weren't afraid to go up with the new english teacher.
There was also a horseshoe competition, and the ball tossing game that I tried in Pippu a few weeks ago. I competed in the umeboshi pit spitting contest. Umeboshi are Japanese pickled plums. They are an interesting sweet-sour flavour and I quite like them. They are really good in onigiri and I'll even eat them by themselves. I only spit the pit 3.5 m though, so I didn't win. The spat some ridiculous distance like 8.54m. I can't compete with that. I'll have to practice up for next year. My prize for competing was a whole tray of umeboshi -- yum!
After that was the costume competition -- kids, followed by the adults. Imagine twenty preschoolers dressed up as penguins, another group as cowboys, and another as hula dancers. And a whole bunch more. All dancing the bon odori. It was really fun to watch.
More festival tomorrow, so I need to get some sleep.