Q: So Klaus, why is it that in Germany you have Hamburg and Frankfurt, but they have nothing to do with hamburgers or hot dogs?

A: from Wikipedia: Western New York history recorded that Frank and Charles Menches ran out of pork for their sausage patty sandwiches at the 1885 Erie County Fair. Their supplier, reluctant to butcher more hogs in the summer heat, suggested they use beef instead. The brothers fried some up, but found it bland. They added brown sugar, and other ingredients to create a taste which stands distinct without condiments. They christened their creation the "Hamburg Sandwich" after Hamburg, New York where the fair has been held since 1868; the name was probably later condensed by common use to the shorter contraction "hamburger" (and so explaining why a beef sandwich--which never contained any pork--bears this name). German sausages, or wurst, cover a wide range of cooked, uncooked and unfilled styles (no casing), such as frankfurters, bratwurst, rindswurst, blargenwurst, knackwurst, and bockwurst.

Q: Why is your Lake Titicaca not filled with boobs and poop?

A: Have you BEEN to Late Titicaca? It's disgusting!

Q: Here's a question: when you come home what is the first thing you would eat if you could choose? Why? And what does this symbolize about yourself and your spirituality?

A: Authentic Mexican food, from, say, Taco John's. Or my mother's kitchen. Out of all the foods that are unavailable in Japan, I miss Mexican food the most. I miss the flavor of cumin and cilantro, I miss fresh guacamole, I miss having as much sour cream as I want, I miss good, sharp cheese. I think this symbolizes that I have a deep longing for spice in my life that is not being fulfilled here in Japan. Wasabi just doesn't cut it, apparently.

Q: When you first arrived in Japan was there something that just struck you as impossible? Some hurdle you never thought you'd jump yet have since been able to accomplish?

A: For awhile I thought it would be impossible to make close friendships with Japanese people, as it is thought in the West that they are very cold people (Like Bridget's mum says, "They're a cruel race."). My first couple of months here, I just couldn't get close to anyone. All my relationships were shallow, surface. But now I do have one very close Japanese friend, so I suppose that hurdle was jumped.

Q: How have you seen yourself change since leaving the US?

A: My taste in clothes has changed A LOT. Those people who knew me in college and high school would be surprised to hear that I dress rather conservatively now. Granted, when I have the chance I put on the bright jewelery and colorful shirts and I still sometimes wear ties as belts, but it's nothing compared to how I used to dress. I also think I am a lot less silly, in general. I have really become an adult version of the "school days Ruthie" since being in Japan. It's like Ruthie 2.0: sleeker, mature, but still innovative and fresh.

Q: What aspects of "re-entry" shock are you nervous about, if any, when you come back to us?

A: I am genuinely worried that my English will be horribly mangled by the time I get back to the States. That, and I'm sure there are new idioms and slang that I haven't been around to hear, so I'll have to ask people what they mean and then everyone will laugh at me. It will be like going back to junior high school all over again.

Q: Are those microphones at Burger King just to make the people look cool, or do they have some sort of other purpose?

A: While those microphones definitely DO make people look cool, they also do serve a purpose. When the cashier says a hot food item into the microphone, the sandwich makers in the back know what to start making before it appears on their monitors. If they know they will need to start frying more chicken patties if another chicken sandwich is ordered, when they hear the word "chicken" come from the cashier, they know to start frying a few seconds earlier. And in the fast food business, a few seconds is a lot of time.
written by Ruthie @ 12:45 AM  
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Name: Ruthie
Home: Japan
About Me: I want to know who God is and what his truth is. I love getting lost in beautiful music and cloudless star-filled skies, especially in the fall. I hate being bored. I like big cities. I want to travel the world.
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