volunteering

Amazing how these things work. Last week went with a friend to the SF Japanese School to pick up his kids. At the park where all the kids were playing, his wife introduced me to some other moms.
Within a week, I (and my friend) ended up volunteered to man the curry booth at this weekend's Cherry Blossom Festival in Japan Town.
We woke Saturday morning the unholy hour of well before 6am, got on an empty train and a nearly empty bus, and in record time found ourselves standing on the street where the curry booth was soon to be.
Within a couple of hours we had the tent up, the curry bubbling, the rice cooked...and then the fire department came and educated us:
* Need commercial grade 350 psi-rated hoses with machined fittings for the propane
* Have to elevate the propane burners at least 15 inches off the ground (was melting the asphalt)
* Butane burners must use exactly the same make of butane canisters as the burner itself

Then the health inspector reminded us that:
* All food prep must be done under the tent covering
* Hot food must be kept above 135ºF

So we decided to give up entirely on cooking the curry at the booth, and used the rented kitchen up the street. We then emptied out one of the large rice cooker/warmers and used it to keep the curry warm.
So net result: no gas at all (happy fire department), and no unheated food (happy health inspector).
Just glad there was no Electrician's Union on hand to give us grief about our extension cords or something!

Worked the booth until about 3, then wandered the festival to get some food. Grabbed a spam-musubi two booths down, marvelled at the ginormous line to get takoyaki, was impressed the sheer number of people eating and drinking, tried to ignore the off-key warblings of the wanna-be J-Pop glam rock band, and finally walked back down to Church station to grab the train home.

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