Takoyaki (also called Pizza Balls) is a small ball of dough with octopus and other fixings in it. Yesterday, Takemori-San, Ago-San, Yoda-San, Morita-San, Shiraga-San and I went for a traditional Takoyaki night. The front of the small restaurant was appropriately decorated with a large red octopus.
True to Japanese style, we took off our shoes and climbed into the little booth. The table consisted of a tiled edge with large grill area in the middle. The grill area was made up of flat plates and plates with small half-circle molds. A piece of octopus (all parts of octopus (yes, suction-cup legs included!) are used), green onions, and other additions are put into each mold. Cheese, steak, vegetables, fruit, etc can all be added for some Takoyaki variety. A watery dough is poured on top, and it cooks! As it cooks you fold the edges over the mold and flip it around....the result? A Takoyaki ball! We also enjoyed Okonomiyaki - Japanese style pizza.
The food was delicious, and the conversation was hilarious. Topics ranged from eye glasses, to Morita-San's crush on Ago-San, to Shiraga-San's marriage (the next day!), and a number of other things. There was a lot of laughter, and even I got to participate in the conversation, despite my poor (but improving!!) Japanese. Morita-San decided that Ago-San could have two husbands, and he should be the other one. We determined that Yoda-San was 'ikiman' - good looking, but no personality; whereas Morita-San was 'itiman' - bad looking, but great personality! I also discovered that Yoda-San is secretly a narcist guitar player, and many of my friends and acquaintences are members of the Japanese mafia!
The trip home afterwards was equally fun as I attempted more Japanese conversation. I told them that every time I speak Japanese, everyone laughs - but I don't mind, because I would laugh at me, too! They said it was because I was cute and funny when I tried to sound Japanese. I do feel like my Japanese is improving, and I can actually participate in the conversations a bit more!
It was a wonderful and fun evening, and I made them promise to take me out to karaoke sometime....which will definitely prove to be another evening full of fun & laughs!