Number one for English language teachers

Anecdote: I could eat a horse

Type: Anecdote

A few months after arriving in Japan, I found myself at the training centre of a major company, teaching four guys a 3-day intensive course. At the end of the first day, one of the students announced that they'd like to take me out for dinner. I was delighted, and when asked what type of food I'd prefer, I asked them to decide, but admitted that I was so hungry, I could eat a horse. The students nodded in understanding and I left them enthusiastically discussing options amongst themselves , none of which I understood.

We met a couple of hours later at the front of the training centre. From there we drove 10 minutes into town and pulled up in front of a rustic, cosy-looking restaurant. To my enquiries during the drive about where we'd be eating, my students had assured me that I'd love it.

The hot towels and menus were brought as we sat down and I noticed a large section devoted to a food called basashi. Not having seen this before, I asked the guys for a translation.

"Why, it's horse meat, of course! This restaurant is famous for it."

Turns out I was in the basashi capital of Japan. Not wanting to be churlish, I made my way through an enormous plate of thinly sliced raw horse, which was actually very good, when I managed to block out images of National Velvet galloping through green pastures.

Day 2 of the course included a mini-lesson on food sayings.

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