Burgeoning Hotpot Chef! 2021.01.14
Experiencing things first hand is often the best way to bust myths or misconceptions that one may have about something. In my vision of camping, I expected the tents to be uncomfortable, the toilets to be the trees and food to be difficult to prepare in light of the lack of modern appliances and conveniences. When going on an outdoor outing such as this though, one must mentally prepare to be as primitive as possible; the developed world where mostly all of us feel a sense of entitlement is left behind after all.
To my surprise, but not so surprising because Japan aims for comfort, convenience, efficiency, order and cleanliness at all times, the experience was quite pleasant. The toilets were clean, well-stocked and had proper plumbing. The sleeping bag, when I lay down for the first time, contoured my body perfectly and with a cool breeze blowing gently into the tent, it was the perfect combination to lull me into a deep sleep. The cooks had prepared enough spices and ingredients for delicious meals - of which there were many. It seemed to be just drinking and eating throughout the night.
After our first meal, we hung about under the tarp as the rain would not let up. We sat around talking and laughing. Because of the brisk wind and coldness of the air, I sought a respite from the revellery and slunk into the back seat of one of the cars to catch a movie on Netflix. Exhaustion set in. I dozed off but was awaken by someone fishing around in the trunk of the car. The noises woke me but I could not return to my sweet slumber as the trunk was left open, letting in the cold air once again and the excited voices and laughter of my housemates also travelled in.
Very soon I gave up on sleeping and decided to rejoin the party. The discussion on how to make a sturdy foundation on which to place a pot for cooking hotpot was entertaining and long but in the end, the agreed upon method worked out and everyone was dipping in to get some delicious meat or vegetables.
As I am not a fan of meat or hotpot, I volunteered myself as the resident hot pot chef! My job was to get the meat and vegetables into the pot, scoop cooked food to the top for people to snag and then make sure the soup was clear for a fresh batch of items. It sounds like a lot of work but it was nice to be part of the group even if I was not eating. The hotpot event was just the beginning of a long night that seemed endless.
I'm like a chihuahua. Small but fierce and full of energy. I'm generally a positive person and try to make the best of each day.