Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Imoni in Sendai

Last weekend, I had one of my first "real" cultural experiences in Sendai. Imoni (芋煮) is a regional food very specific to the Sendai and Yamagata areas. Typically once a year in the month of October, groups will traditionally meet under a specific bridge, and enjoy the Imoni dish as a late lunch.

This year, I went with my research group, the Kobayashi-Sumii Lab (小林・住井研究室). There were at least a dozen grad students and assistants there, as well as me and the other DEEP student. I think his nickname was Dion, but I have yet to meet him since. On the whole, most graduate students in the lab are very shy, but once the shochu (焼酎, distilled rice spirit very similar to scotch/whiskey) was opened a few of us lightened up and had fun. The main perpetrators were myself, Prof. Kobayashi, and Suenaga, the post-doc (and if you are wondering, I rarely remember given names).

Other notable members of the party included Prof. Sumii's little kid, who was extremely adorable, and a few circles away, the rest of the exchange student population at a (entry fee) Imoni hosted by the @Home student group. I stopped by to talk to Hans for a while, but did not feel terribly inclined to try socializing with the rest of them. I was inebriated enough that I probably would have come off sort of silly (or fall on the rocks trying to).

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