The major excitement yesterday was going to the Friday Asian Food Festival with a bunch of people from RIKEN. They seem to travel in packs, there were about 20 of us. The Friday Asian Food Festival happens the third Friday of every month during the summer – this was the first one of the season so it was crowded. There were booths selling Indian, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, and (insert country here) food. Naoko was with the group so here is a picture of our patron saint.
Raj, a PI at RIKEN bought us the caricature as a welcome to Japan gift.
After years of spending time with graduate students who will split a $7 tab to the penny, going out with people who have real jobs is a little strange and refreshing. People kept buying food and just dropping it on the table for all to enjoy and no one seems to worry about the cost. We had samosas and chicken tikka, little wonton wrappers stuffed with veggies and chicken then tied into packages and deep fried, spicy cashews, more chicken tikka served in a pita so I could almost pretend I was eating Greek food, tempura fish, and these melon sodas that seal with a glass ball the size of a marble. When you buy them the guy has to open them for you by pushing the ball inside the bottle. We closed out the festival chatting away. I was so excited to talk to people in English that I may have come on a little strong with Naoke, the guy in charge of RIKEN's public outreach, but I was excited to hear they target adults and not elementary school children.