Thursday, 19 November 2015

The Story of Eustacia and the 和食検定

If you have me on Google+, then you know that some time back, I got a piece of paper that says that I have gotten the third grade (三級) for the introductory level (初級レベル) of the 和食検定 (washoku kentei).

The 和食検定 is basically a test of your theoretical knowledge of Japanese cuisine. Alas, it does not include a practical component, so this in no way means I can cook delicious Japanese food. It just means that when I sprout of random facts, I have a piece of paper that implies that I have a a 71% chance of getting the fact correct (although the fact that I remembered the fact would make that percentage higher, I think).

So the test is divided into three levels, of which, I took the easiest. And from the three grades you can get, I got the lowest. But I'm just happy to pass. It was a one hour test, with 100 multiple choice questions, all in Japanese, so I was basically racing through the whole thing.

Speaking of the test, the reason why I took it was... odd, even for me.

Basically, I was at Infini and was flipping through some of the books they have on display. I saw the textbook for the introductory level and really, really wanted a reason to get it (it was half in Japanese, and half in English). So I figured, if I took the test, then I'd have to get the book. Not the best of logic, but that was my main reason for taking the test.

The day of the test also happened to be the day of a company meeting in Osaka, like I mentioned in the job hunting update post. I was actually worrying about how late I was going to be as I was making my way to what I thought was the exam venue - Infini.

When I got there though, I was informed that this wasn't the test venue. Ooops. And I realised that I had forgotten the admission card thing. Double oops. But, being the kiasu person that I am, I actually arrived there 40 minutes early. We found out that the venue was in Hakata, and I hopped into a cab and made my way there (it turned out to be really close - thank you, Fukuoka, for being such a small city). When I got there, there was a bit of a problem finding the place, but I got there, and received a substitute admissions card too. Problems mostly solved.

By the way, there were only 5 (well, there were 6 seats prepared, but only 5 people appeared)  people taking the introductory course, and I think most of them were working adults. I was totally the odd one out.

After the test, I basically rushed to Hakata station, which turned out to be a 5 minute walk away. That's even better than my finishing school, which required me to change trains once and would have taken 20 minutes. So I got to board an earlier shinkansen (although after that, I got a little bit lost in Osaka due to about 3 similarly named buildings).

Ok, so this isn't really a story after all. It's more of me rambling on about how the test went and why I took it. Despite my silly reasons for taking the test, I'm quite glad I was impulsive enough to do it. I enjoyed learning about Japanese cuisine, and it was a fun challenge.

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