Pancakes and Gakuran

Let me preface this by telling you about Japanese vending machines. I suppose there isn’t much to say about the machines themselves. They don’t look like Western vending machines, but there isn’t anything particularly miraculous about them besides perhaps the fact that sometimes they have a hot drink section. What is notable about Japanese vending machines is that they are everywhere. You honestly cannot walk a hundred feet without encountering another vending machine. What’s more is they all have different stuff. In America there are usually Coke or Pepsi machines with basically the same product. In Japan there are three main companies – Boss, Asahi and Kirin (Boss is a coffee company, the other two are beer companies and own almost every beverage you could ever buy) – but each machine somehow still varies almost completely from the one down the block. Even when they’re everywhere, they have great variety.

My two friends and I were out to find a vending machine (since there are no drinking fountains anywhere in Japan, way to support the economy). While waiting for one of my friends to get her drink, the other girl pointed out, “Is that a pancake drink?”

Yes, yes it was a pancake drink. My friend, after retrieving her own rather normal drink, was intrigued enough to lend me the 100 yen it would take to purchase such an oddity.

First off, the can was too hot to hold. I took this picture while waiting for it to cool down to a temperature at which I could pick it up. When finally I could hold it again I popped it open and smelled it. It smelled exactly like pancakes. The three of us were somewhat horrified at what this drink might taste like. We imagined syrup or raw pancake batter. Slowly I took a sip to discover:

The single most delicious liquid I’d ever tasted. It was creamy, not overly sweet, heavenly on a cold day. My friends tasted it and agreed. This was when I told all the other Americans I could find to try out this drink. All of them agreed that it was absolutely wonderful. I must have made 5 trips to that vending machine that day. We all stood around it drinking our delicious drink. It will probably be sold out within a week, and we’ll all be terribly sad.

The only problem with pancake drink – the only vending machine we can find it in is in a very inconvenient place. We have been on constant lookout for pancake drink in other locations, but thus far we have been unsuccessful. Pancake drink is worth the trip, however. When the weather starts to get cold I’m sure we’ll all make the trek out to the vending machine with the pancakes.

Around this point we started to crave actual pancakes. We fixed that tonight by buying tons of pancake mix and commandeering a kitchen in our dorm. Our pancakes were varied and delicious, with maple syrup, kiwis, bananas, Nutella, whipped cream, chocolate and strawberry jelly… I also made very fluffy scrambled eggs. We sent a picture text to one of the boys (since he can’t come into the girl’s dorm) showing him our feast. When we got a text that just read, “Pancakes ;_;” we felt bad and brought the boys our leftovers.

Pancake night should be a tradition. We bought way to much pancake mix anyway.

On an entirely unrelated note, I love the boys’ school uniforms in Japan. Apparently when there are high school tours on campus I smile all day. I swear I’m not creepy.

At any rate, I’ve been wanting a uniform since before I even came to Japan. Finally, after a trip to downtown Saijo and a long search in the wonderful department store YouMe Town I got my hands on a gakuran uniform! I wore it at a Halloween party. Apparently I make a handsome boy, because several people asked my gender. They also asked the price of the uniform… I don’t want to divulge that information, but let me tell you, the real thing is expensive. Even if I’m a bit ashamed, I’m happy. I have the real thing!

I swear I’m not that weird.

By the way, gakuran is this kind of uniform:

They’re nice, and have a very Japanese feel. But I personally prefer the blazer style:

…though I already own a cosplay of that in America. A cosplay is good enough. The real thing is too expensive.

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~ by megumiwasframed on October 25, 2010.

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