In the words of my auntie Pouneh: “every supermarket should look like this.” I’m well aware of how expensive these stores can be but I still love scanning their isles and oohing and aaahing over everything. Here’s an inside look at a European bio organic supermarket:
No chemicals! No spray!
Passionfruit, pomegranate and prickly pear – that children, is A L L I T E R A T I O N.
Better be orgasmic for those prices!
No more bent-back-over-the-stove-top-homemade-muesli-labouring for me!
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. (Hippocrates)
Hiromi asked me to help out with an English camp. We picked blueberries (some of which were from NZ!), played games, sang songs and made sandwiches (with “hard” bread which the kids were unfamiliar with hehe). I absolutely adore children! Here are the pictures.
Do you remember Yasu? My unexpected friend? Well, her family thew me a goodbye party last night. We ate clam chowder, sushi rolls (featuring pink, green and whie rice), tofu salad and much more. Her mother is such a sweet soul and a very good cook. Last night she reminded me very much of my own mother. She’d made this pork and egg dish which she kept apologizing for. She’d say, “please try this, I made it but I’m sorry, it became too spicy.” Each time someone reached for a helping or she offered it to them, she’d say sorry. I told her my mama was the same. That whatever she cooked she’d end up apologizing for. And even though if it was the yummiest dish in the world, she’d still be saying sorry. Then my father would tease her for having apologized, again. Silly sweet humble loving mamas.
Yasu’s younger sister, Shoko, whose name for the life of me I can’t remember so I have to call her what her two year old nephew calls her: “aka”, surprised me with the beautiful cake pictured. We had a blast. I can’t believe how much they did for me. I wish I’d met Yasu sooner. I keep questioning why our paths didn’t cross earlier. Especially since she had been living right there, in the upstairs apartment! We could have shared so many dinners together – a thought which brings me much joy but also sadness.
After dinner, we did hanabi (fireworks) – an activity strongly resonant with Japanese summer.
Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have. (Lemony Snicket)
Turns out waking up early is even better for me than I originally thought. This morning was an adventure I’ll never forget. So I embarked for my usual 5.30am walk only to be stopped halfway by an ojichan (old citizen). He asked where I was from, what I was doing here etc and long story short, he took me to his garden where he showed me his eggplants, watermelons, broccoli, figs, persimmons and other fruits and vegetables before ripping out a big cabbage head for me to take home. Next, he introduced me to his wife who also gifted me fresh produce: capsicum, parsley and cucumber. Since it was still early by the time I got home, I whipped up a quick batch of blueberry muffins to return to the old couple as a thank you before heading to work. When I got there…well, I’m sure you can imagine their smiles and feel their warmth.
This is why blogging is so great. You make friends who make picture requests and you end up seeing things you otherwise wouldn’t. As for the last two images, I just couldn’t help myself! Thank you, Simon.
My life has improved immensely. I don’t know why exactly, the change in weather, God, my own efforts, or a combination of all three, probably a combination of all three. But I am so happy. So excited for the future and all of the adventures that await me. I guess I have learnt that life will always have ups and downs but if we persevere through our heartaches, we really do come out the other side a better and a stronger being. This concept is no longer a cliched Pinterest quote for me, it has become my reality. I am enjoying and appreciating the small details of every day and making the very most of my time here. At the same time, I am eagerly awaiting my sure-to-be-amazing future.
Early summer in Japan is brilliant because the weather is dry and the mornings and evenings, cool. It’s mid summer when things go to shit and the insects come out and the weather enters humid hell. Anyways, believe it or not, I have started eating less and lighter and feeling as radiant as summer itself.
From top to bottom: granola (ft. Wild Friends almond butter and ViBERi freeze-dried blackcurrants), BBQ (a common Japanese summer event always ft. fireworks), the vegan nacho salad I made to take to it (the BBQ – with chia-seed chips), more granola this time with passion-fruit (if only you could have shared my excitement when I found the thing in a Japanese supermarket!), wholewheat pasta salad with cherry tomatoes and blue cheese stuffed olives alongside mix seed crackers from The Breadman Organic Bakery all the way from Christchurch (NZ), a simple kidney bean, cougette, cucumber and chickpea salad dressed only in lemon juice with a side of my zucchini banana cake, pay-day treats, vegan black rice sushi and last but not least, today’s bento: asian-style salad of carrot, cucumber, capsicum (red and yellow), peanuts and black sesame seeds dressed with a little soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil next to a humble free-range boiled egg and two purely-decorative flowers which have no reason to be there.
As much as I’d like to think that I notice and appreciate the beauty of this place, and make the most of my life here, at times, I can forget. Seeing my village through the eyes of a newcomer makes me fall in love all over again. All photos taken by lovely Laura from Belgium (whom I’m hoping to visit during my Europe trip! And by that, I mean eat some waffles, fries and chocolate with).