Food, culture, talent … and wind

In the 1920s a woman wrote a book called The Wind about a woman forced to move from Virginia to Sweetwater, Texas. In the end the wind drove her to utter madness and she curled up like a tumbleweed and let the wind take her away. The whole book caused quite a stir and when the author visited Sweetwater thinking she would get a warm reception they had a kangaroo court at the train station and ran her out of town. I was feeling the heroine’s pain at International Night last night.

Johns Creek High School holds International Night this same weekend every year, it’s outside in the courtyard and everyone fights the wind. No one seems to have a solution for making a tri-fold poster board stand up in the wind, they are just made for indoor use. I had something rigged up I thought would work great.

Well, it worked great inside. Outside, not so much. The table we had was deeper than the tablecloth clips could stretch so I taped the whole mess down. Well, that wasn’t enough for the height of the board. So onto Plan B, which we did last year, but I wanted to avoid this year.

We taped the back of the board to the lower crossbeam of our PVC frame. I don’t have a photo from the back but this was our setup.

That worked for maybe five minutes when another gust of wind knocked the entire frame over. At that point I said “I’m gong to crawl off in a corner and cry”. Heath had brought some weights just in case and he went and got those from the car and weighed down the feet of the frame. Everyone else was having problems, too. We loaned a full roll of duct tape to Belgium (run by the French club, I don’t think we have any actual Belgians at school), next to us, who loaned it to another country who loaned it to “a freshman named Chris” who we never did find.

But we were up and running.

Katy’s friends Elizabeth (left) and Catherine needed service hours so she recruited them to help with the food. We had another helper for a little while.

We had a few activities at the table. A few kids got in some chopstick practice and lots of people looked at the display and answered trivia questions for a prize. One teacher came by and said her sister has been living in Singapore for the past five years and she spent Christmas in Singapore two years ago. Also, she mentioned that she had pastor who used to live in Singapore. I said “oh, you must be Lutheran”. Noel Anderson was a Lutheran pastor in Singapore for many years and is now living not far from us and I went to school with his son. Funny who you run into.

 

I couldn’t get a real good picture of the food because the sun was directly behind me by the time we got it set up. We had Hainanese chicken rice, pandan cakes and spring rolls. I usually do curry puffs but I just didn’t have the energy this year and I can buy spring rolls. I wanted to get satay but the restaurant wanted too much for it. It’s a good thing I didn’t we usually go through all of our food but we didn’t get much traffic this year and had a lot leftovers. One boy really liked the pandan cakes so I gave him a whole box.

Our food table from the top.

China, in the meantime, was mobbed.

Don’t let the Korean dresses fool you this is China, Korea was right next door.

China had chopstick practice, too. Katy says you can’t pick up a ping pong ball with chopsticks. This is one of her photos with her new camera.

Another of Katy’s photos, calligraphy.

I have no idea what China had for food, I couldn’t near it to find out.

This was India’s table. Heath pointed out that the Indian Culture Exchange (ironically called ICE) sponsors the even but they really never have much of a table. They had mango lassi, though.

This Pakistani mom was very nice. They are holding up the sign because it was blowing over, too, they finally got it stabilized. And she had some delicious biryani. I also found out that “Pakistan” is an acronym. I had no idea.

Well, you’re supposed to learn something new at these things.

Japan has some gadget that looked like a cake pop maker but ran off of butane and were making fresh octopus balls. The poor girl was doing her best and her dad was standing over her fussing at her Japanese. I said “he’s telling you you’re doing it wrong, isn’t he?”. All parents are the same. The octopus balls were interesting.

Russia had lots of good food. I had potato salad and something that looked like a piece of thin-crust pizza. After Heath recommended the gingerbread I had to go back and get some of that.

These Korean girls were cute.

This is the Principality of Sealand, which must have been a class assignment since as near I can figure out the 106 people who live there think it’s a country but no one else does. It’s just off the coast of Great Britain.

Katy got this shot of Cuba. I didn’t make it over there and that food looks good.

Another one of Katy’s shots. If they had food, I don’t see it.

Neither of us got a photo of Germany. They were so out of the way I didn’t even see them until the end. The kids apologized for their burnt homemade pretzels but they were still good and I’m impressed they attempted them. They had a sign with a bunch of German companies. I had no idea Haribo was German, I thought it was Japanese.

A crowd shot as everyone was packing up.

We ate so much and it was all so good.

This was my first round, I went around again.

Katy loaded up real well the first time. Appears to be heavy on breads and sweets.

After everyone gets their fill and packs up their stations, it’s into the auditorium for a talent show.

K-pop, Chinese yo-yos and dancers, a Korean band, Irish fiddling, a Korean singing a love song in Italian (wish we’d gotten a video, he’s amazing), a dance-off between a student and teacher and a big Bollywood dance number to wrap it all up.

It’s hard to know what to say about a K-pop group that features Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore. This was Heath’s favorite part and he got a little video.

One of Katy’s friends, Sarah Ling, is a six-time Midwest Irish Fiddle Champion and her sister, Madeleine plays the harp (and piano, too). Katy and Sarah are going to be roommates on the orchestra trip to Europe next week.

 

 

 

 

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