Siyris wrote: SakuraHoshi wrote:
I love most of the Japanese foods I've ever tried, especially ramen dishes. I don't eat meat but I'm a big fan of fish, so that goes down well. However, there are definitely things I tried over there that nearly made me gag. One thing I'm a bit concerned about is portion size and how much we're expected to eat. I struggle to eat a lot in one sitting and end up leaving most. I read on one ALT's blog that the school portion sizes are pretty massive and you're expected to eat it all. Is that true? Or is it an ESID thing? I don't want to offend people but I can't really force myself to eat way more than I can manage. Unless they enjoy watching me throw up
The portions are pretty big... the solution to this (at my schools which seem pretty strict about eating what you're given compared to other people who have posted on this thread) is to, before you eat ANYTHING find the nearest boy (or girl, but more often it'll be a boy) or male teacher and ask if they will take some of your rice. Usually the answer will be yes. then you use your chopsticks to put a chunk of your rice into their bowl. IMPORTANT NOTE on this method is that you cannot use it if you have already eaten anything off your plate using your chopsticks. It then makes them unclean, as is whatever you took a bite from. So if you get a meal that looks like it'll be too big for you, get rid of what you can't eat at the start.
The rules in my school about this are pretty lax -- you can give away as much as half of your rice, a quarter of your piece of fish, half of your veggies and a half of your soup. You can't give away all of anything though.
The other technique is during serving, often there will be some trays that have been served smaller portions of rice.... make sure you grab one of those, or if it's request based, make sure you tell the students/teachers who are doing the serving that you can't eat a whole lot.
You will, to some extent, have to get used to eating more than you are comfortable with. The benefit of that though, is a lot of nights you don't end up feeling the need for dinner, since you had such a big lunch. Also, after your first month or so your stomach will get used to it -- the rice is digested quickly.
On the other hand, there are lunches every now and then that leave me really hungry afterwards -- those are usually the lunches that are 'foreign food' days.... like this week we had one slice of 'french toast', a small salad, a small dessert, and a small bowl of soup. I was hungry again a half hour after lunch ended. There are some days when there isn't really enough food, though those are the exceptions.
There are still days where I am uncomfortably full after lunch -- especially the ones where they give you two or three types of grain-product... x.x the worst was when we had chicken noodle soup, some bread, and fried rice.... it was too much food for everyone. However, you can bet that the other teachers and the students feel the same way as you do about eating more food than they are comfortable with -- but they really frown on throwing food out and being wasteful... so odds are you'll learn to eat more than you're comfortable with.