Thursday, December 10, 2009

The last time I had Kobe beef…

...I was in Kobe. My former supervisor at LMU who worked for Semester At Sea a few years ago would regularly share stories of her voyage. One time when a group of us were out for dinner someone ordered a Kobe beef burger, which prompted Briana to say, “The last time I have Kobe beef, I was in Kobe”. We all loved and hated her for it. Now it was my turn.

AB and I had talked for weeks about our plan to have Kobe beef in Kobe and that was the only thing on the agenda for our one day in Kobe. We asked the info desk in the port terminal for any suggestions but she was not too helpful, so we just took a chance and it paid off. We were looking at a menu in Japanese and the hostess brought out an English menu and our mind was made up. We sat down at a bar top like grill. We made our decision to share a lunch as a single lunch cost $80.00.

The chef brought out a cut of beef and with our approval began prepare it right in front of us. First he placed our plates with a small pile of pepper and salt in front of us. He began to sauté some veggies and then started to cut the beef. He cut off all the fat and put it to the side. I am always impressed watching people cook. They make it look easy and then when I even think of trying to do it myself I get overwhelmed. Thus my biggest cooking accomplishment to date is Hamburger Helper. What can I say, when you have had a university meal plan for the past 5 and a half years there is little motivation to learn how to cook. The meal was amazing and well worth the $80.00, so much so I almost considered placing another order.

AB and I left with very happy bellies and ventured off to find some gifts for her nieces back in Rhode Island and as so many times before on this journey, a local helped us out and took us to just the right place. With gifts in hand we continued to walk through the shops where I loved the clothes and the style of everything. Japan is a very formal culture. Even on the weekend most of the people walking around were very well dressed, the men in suits and the women also in stylish business wear. Of course everything I looked at was far beyond my price range but it made me wish. If I ever become insanely wealthy I will come to Japan and buy an entirely new wardrobe.

AB and I then dragged our heals getting back to the ship to work our re-embarkation shifts knowing that we had 10 days at sea ahead of us. Thanksgiving on the ship, crossing the international date line where we went from being 19 hours ahead of LA time to having two Saturday November 28th and then behind LA by 5 hours, and the beginning of student final exams. The longest crossing of the voyage marked the final push but more on that later.

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