The Nara JET community recently celebrated Diwali, the Indian "Festival of Lights." We have one JET who was born in India and she wanted to share her culture with Nara ALTs. About 26 of us gathered in a rented kitchen at a hotel adjacent to JR Nara.
Side Story about the Kitchen: The kitchen in this hotel was originally built to provide an environment to improve relations between partners in relationships. Maybe the wife can show her husband how to cook and they can work together to make a meal. Does this sound ridiculous? It is. Nara AJET exploited this information and reserved the kitchen under the guise of improving relations between men and women. We had to make sure guys and girls were both cooking and cleaning just to keep up appearances. This is how we booked the kitchen for freeeeeeeeee.
Everyone was told to bring their own plates, cups, and silverware (unnecessarily, I might add). No one knew that the kitchen was already stocked with EVERYTHING.
I arrived for the food, not the work (because I'm a nice guy). I purposefully arrived at 4 (cooking started at 2) ready to eat (many other JETs did this too). We all sat down at the tables close to the kitchen and began our festival. The Indian JET read a passage from the Bhagavad Ghita. Then, she introduced the food. She (and other Nara JETs) made samosas, egg curry, chicken curry, vegetable rice, a potatoes and chickpeas dish, and some Indian snacks. The food was alright. Honestly, I wanted more of the chicken curry, but I didn't want to appear gluttonous. Following the dinner, we ate some amazing Indian deserts. I don't remember the name of the deserts, sue me.
After food, ALL the JETS contributed in cleaning up. We had to leave the kitchen as we found it. We washed all the pots, pans, dishes, and utensils. We even had to take the garbage with us. The worst part? We had to put everything back where we found it. Considering just how many items we used, this was a daunting task. When we finished, a representative from the hotel inspected our work, then began to move everything around. Apparently, we weren't as careful as we thought.