Sunday was the first day on the job in Chitose. It was a basic meet-and-greet day where I was introduced to all the folks I’d be working with while staying in Chitose. My primary task was as technical adviser, a kind of insurance to fall back on in case something went wrong during the time I was there. The staff running the systems were well qualified in the operation of all the systems, and even showed a deep enough understanding that they could (and did) debug and solve their own problems. But I was there Just In Case something horrible went wrong.
The work day was only nine hours long and I got out well before the local shops and restaurants closed for the evening. On the advice of my traveling companion and another contractor we’d met on site, we walked a few blocks away from the hotel to a local udon shop for supper.
Udon is thick wheat flour noodle. The various shops that make it and serve it take great pride in the quality and presentation of their udon-based dishes. According to my companions udon is made fresh every day. This particular shop was an example of this, with everyone there helping us select our particular udon meal.
The Japanese make a variety of dishes from it, from a single soup with udon noodles to fairly sophisticated concoctions. The one I had (and shouldn’t have had) included seaweed, a whipped sweet potato based cream, and a very soft boiled egg. This is what my traveling companions ordered, and I went along because I didn’t know any better. It was alright as long as it was hot, but as it cooled the sweetness of the sweet potato combined with the soft-boiled egg caused a severe gag reaction that forced me to stop eating.
Fortunately for me I also added some Japanese fried chicken to my order, so I was full enough by the time I left. The next time I ordered udon, it was at the same type of store back in the Aeon mall. My second udon meal was excellent and I finished it off completely.