Sunday, 7 August 2011

Fuji Rock and surviving summer camp

久しぶり!It's been 3 weeks since my last post, as I've been busy with all sorts of summery things.  The last weekend of July I headed up to Niigata for the Fuji Rock Festival.  Not wanting to blow my summer travel budget, I decided to go as part of a work team with one of the vendors.  My booth was a rather un-vegetarian friendly establishment, as we served fish and chips, meat pies, beer and gin and tonics.  Luckily, the boss was cool and hooked me up with some free veggie meals from the other vendors.  Overall, the festival is decent when it comes to vegetarian selection, so if you are going as a guest, you shouldn't have any problems finding food.  I didn't get to see a lot of music, as we worked pretty long hours, but we had a great crew and it was a lot of fun to soak in the festival atmosphere.  A piece of advice to future Fuji Rockers: bring rain boots!  It rained a lot this year, and the sea of mud was intense.

Don't even think of coming to Fuji Rock without rain boots and a waterproof jacket (or poncho)!

I did manage to catch the Chemical Brothers.  Great visuals!

This week I was at summer camp in Nagano with my school from Thursday to Saturday.  I was told I'd be fine food wise, as the meals were buffet style, but just to be safe, I packed some supplementary nutrition.  I was very glad I did, as the buffet was a bit short on vegetarian protein sources and fruit, the gaps between meals were long, and lunch on two of the days turned out to be (meaty fishy) obento.  In my emergency pack: meal sized ready to eat portions of beans, nuts, raisins, dried apricots, and a pack of granola with nuts. Oh, and 3 cans of Redbull (we worked 17 hours a day!).  I kept nuts and a pack of beans with me at all times, and when hit with the first surprise obento lunch, ran back to my room for my granola.  It was interesting talking to the kids about why I was eating nuts and beans instead of meatballs, compared to adults they were really accepting of the idea that some people don't eat meat and fish.  They were also really excited when I shared my dried apricots with them.  Cute!

We are going on a second round of camp in the fourth week of August, this one to another location (I think it's in Yamanashi).  I've been informed that all of the meals are obento style, so I should bring what I need I feed myself for the entire 3 days.  There will be no place to buy food, and whatever I bring needs to survive for most of a day unrefrigerated.  I may try to bring some natto up in in a small cooler pack, but otherwise it needs to be dried or packaged so it won't go bad. In addition to the kind of things I brought to the first camp, I'm thinking that those pre-made Indian curry packs could be a good idea.  They are supposed to be heated, but I think I could get away with eating them as is.  Other than that, maybe a loaf of bread, and some hard fruit and veggies?  There will be a fridge and maybe a microwave and hot water, but virtually no prep time as I'm supposed to be watching the kids at all times.  Any suggestions?

I'm embarking on another summer adventure tonight: a 6 day trip to Taiwan with my sweetheart.  I'm really excited for the food, as I've heard Taiwan is quite veggie friendly due to a fair percentage of Taiwanese Buddhists being vegetarian (fulltime, or parttime for spiritual or health reasons).  If you've travelled to Taiwan (or of course, if you live there) I'd love to hear your recommendations for restaurants or any other must visit places, food related or not.

I hope you are all having a great and summery summer.  Stay cool and keep hydrated!

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