People stare at me all the time. They make comments on my appearance. On my clothes. On my behaviour. On the food that’s in my bento. About how I hold my chopsticks the Chinese way. ALL DAY LONG, I have to hear how everything about me is not Japanese. Yet – when I open my mouth, people are surprised by my near perfect imitation of the Kanto accent. I AM SO SICK OF HEARING – nihongo wa jyozu des ne. Your Japanese is so good. Can you please ask me a real question?
My looong holidays are the envy of all my friends. And God knows I relished every second of my beloved winter vacation. Hey – I know how to live it up. But truth be told – I missed work. I missed being around my kids. I missed watching them grow, change and mature. As crazy as they drive me at times – I missed their company. They bring so much life to my life.
Last night, I went to a Mongolian restaurant in my home city Yokohama. The lamb was DELICIOUS, the wine flowed freely and the salty milk tea was err.. unique. I even got to wear a traditional Mongolian costume and enjoy my food in a restaurant that resembled a yurt. Can’t complain. Life is good.
Tonight, I’m making something typically Japanese. ODEN. A staple during the winter months – my students recommended it to me two winters ago. Since then, I haven’t been able to stop eating it. Mmm…mmm…
Oden is made of: boiled eggs, daikon, konjac and fishcakes all stewed in a soy-based dashi broth. The ingredients vary depending on where in the country you are – and of course, your own personal preferences.
The holidays are almost here. Have no doubt – I’m more excited about the winter…
Why I always advise visitors to Japan not to sleep naked. Mother Nature at her best and worst.
The momiji marks the end of autumn: that time when nature dies to take a much-needed break.