The weather in Japan can change drastically over short periods of time. One day it will be cold enough for you to see your breath at night and the next it can get so hot that the moment you step outside you will be drenched in sweat!
This past weekend was one of those hot days that remind you how formidable the sun can be. It also happened to be the same week as the Greenroom Festival in Yokohama, a once-a-year event that celebrates music, art, and surf lifestyle/culture in Japan. It is held in the historic Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse and featured musicians, artists, and film directors from all over the world, whom all share the same passion for the ocean and its preservation.
One of my favorite bands, SOJA, was playing on Saturday and I desperately wanted to see them. Unfortunately, the tickets were sold out and I was just about ready to throw in the towel, but a local friend sent rays of hope my way when he said that his friend owned a food booth at the event. In return for volunteering at the booth, I would be granted entry to the event for the whole day and a break to watch SOJA play on the main stage! Talk about blessings! I immediately accepted his kind offer and was off to the Greenroom!
The sun was blazing, the sky was blue, and the people were in high spirits. All of the pieces were in place for an amazing day. As I headed towards the booth, a small feeling of anxiety stirred in my empty stomach (I woke up too late to eat breakfast!). Was my Japanese good enough to work at an event with so many people? It was loud, crowded, and extremely busy, but also the perfect chance to challenge myself, and I was up for it!
We started with a pre-event team meeting in which the manager broke down the menu, prices, and operation. Everything was in Japanese, but I was able to get the basic idea. In what seemed like an instant, customers started pouring in and ordering cold beverages, otsumami (light snacks), and bentos. There was almost no time to react, but even less time to stay idle. It was time to boogie. I called on my experience working part-time at a Japanese restaurant in Hawaii and started bringing customers in, taking orders, and handing out their food. My anxiety quickly turned into a rush of excitement and before I knew it, SOJA was about to start. The manager gave me a "Ok, go for it!" nod and I hastily made my way to the main stage. There it was....the moment I had been waiting for and it was an amazing performance.
As SOJA stepped off stage, I went back to our booth to find it busier than ever! It was time to get back to work. After a few hours we were completely sold out and it was time to head home.
Thank you so much to Kaneyo Shokudo for allowing me to work alongside your wonderful staff and experience the amazing Greenroom Event. It was definitely a day to remember!
Today's Kotowaza is:
Birds of a feather flock together.
Literally, we attract those whom are like ourselves.