Day 11, we took this whole Japan thing to a whole new level. My sweet sweet friend, Fukuda sensei let my parents and I wear her family’s kimonos for a photoshoot. As I had previously worn her own kimono, this time I wore her sisters’. My mother wore her mothers’ and my father, her fathers’. Can you believe that? The generosity of the woman? I am speechless and forever grateful. I will always remember this day. Next, we ate an entirely vegan lunch! Yes, that “ham” is not ham at all.
My dad is the very opposite of a Japanese person. He is loud, blithe, bouncy and obnoxious. On top of all that, he won’t stop making what he believes is a funny joke but what actually is, a highly inappropriate comment. God save me. And my mom, my mom keeps telling me mom-stuff like “slow down around the bends” and “always carry a cardigan.” They’re both annoying as hell but I couldn’t be happier.
Pics from top to bottom: a giraffe made entirely of lego at Lego Land, Osaka aquarium (on the schedule solely for my father because he loves fish), okonomiyaki for lunch which my parents told me they didn’t really like or didn’t like as much as ramen (no shit!) only after, and my favourite part of the day, shopping at Lucua. It was so nice to shop with my parents! For one year I’ve had no one to ask if jeans make my butt look big and guess what? Turns out they do tehehe.
Lastly dear follower, I want to share with you something unreal: I bumped into my Kiwi ex. In Osaka Station, in a city with a population of more than 3 million. And, during Sakura (cherry blossom) season when the peoples quadruply. What are the chances? It was fate. It must of been fate. For you know what I felt? I felt absolute and utter confirmation. That it ended for all the right reasons. That I am exactly where I need to be, that I did exactly what I needed. In the words of Rudy Francisco:
“Instead of asking
why they left,
now I ask,
what beauty will i create
in the space they no longer
The accuracy! I am so proud of myself and the beautiful life I live. John Green is right, “grief does not change you… It reveals you.” And in the words of Mary Maxwell:
“…under duress great things are born. Diamonds form in molten stone. The sweetest flowers of man’s spirit have most often been watered by tears. To struggle gives strength, to endure breeds a greater capacity for endurance. We must not run away from our heartbreaks in life; we must go through them, however fiery they may be, and bring with us out of the fire a stronger character, a deeper reliance on ourselves”.
I hope you too, can find the strength and courage to create beauty in place of life’s inevitable heartaches.
From top to bottom: picked them up from the airport Tuesday evening with a basket of goodies…in the airport we were the only ones hugging cos #Japan. Official day 1: Breakfast at Anisa’s (much better than Tiffany’s), their first ever experience of Ramen which they inhaled! Especially my dad who for the life of him, could not use his chopsticks. Disgusting. Just look at his lips! (LOL) Mum finally meeting the love of my life, and last but never least, dinner at Yuko’s where we ate a variety of delicious home-cooked Japanese things including Japanese korokke, salad, chicken wings, Japanese egg roll and red bean (adzuki) and chestnut (marron) sticky rice, my favourite! And, ichigo daifuku and matcha and adzuki cake for dessert (not pictured).
My parents arrive TONIGHT! In Japan for their first time! YAY! Naturally, as Anisa does, I spent last night baking for them. I baked my “Bluberry and Lemon Yoghurt Loaf” into muffins using raspberries in place of the little blue babies. And, I made my “Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes” into a loaf, with the addition of macadamia nuts mixed both through the batter and sprinkled on top of the thing. Also, at one point I had a mini, okay major, panic attack because I’d so obviously overfilled my muffin tray and visual evidence clearly indicated that they were destined to merge into one giant cookie, which on second thoughts wouldnt be that bad a thing (hehe) but thank heavens for the brilliant invention of the silicon tray cos I managed to get them out just fine and look at that.. now they’re sporting, perhaps the sexiest muffin-tops I’ve ever seen ;)
I can’t believe how fast time flies. My parents bought their tickets to Japan 8 months ago! I remember texting my mother and saying I couldn’t wait that long! Now they’re arriving in just 2 days! I literally cannot wait to share my life in Japan with them and our time in Japan, with you!
Here are some pics from the past few days… First, yours truly, all dressed up for the end of year staff party wearing the necklace my student gifted me. Next, the dinner set up.. isn’t it adorable? It’s sakura themed. That night, we ate many things which I didn’t photograph because 1. I wanted to enjoy the moment and 2. It was really bad lighting. Okay, mostly 2 hehehe. Anyways, we ate sashimi (raw fish), salad, rice balls, fried chicken, fried squid, fried octopus, fries and okonomiyaki (a savoury pancake). Third picture is a perfect example of how unhealthy some Japanese eat, an entire basket of ramen. Second last, banana and cacao nib muffins rising… Last but not least, pics of today’s stove-top granola, made for my parents. If you’ve read my bio then you’ll know my mum is the healthiest eater in our family. This granola is basically all she eats hehe. Recipe HERE.
I’m having a bit of a hard time. Going through a rough patch. Perhaps it’s the winter blues. It’s cold, it gets dark at 4.30pm and all the leaves have fallen off the trees. Or maybe I’m tired of routine…plus, the earthquakes back home aren’t helping. I really worry for my family. You know, hence the gloomy poetry. Sorry, I feel I’m still rhyming.
So the one thing (but this thing is so darn significant that it’s OK to be A thing) that has kept/is keeping, me going is the thought of reuniting with my parents after what seems a century. Also, I miss speaking Farsi. As in real-life Farsi instead of Soulja Boy through the phone styles. I dunno, something to do with my roots, maybe.
This post “Meet the Kazemis”, inspired by Meet the Patels (hehe) is the first of the many (not too many) blog posts that shall be documenting their soon-to-come time with me.
My parents are the best people in the entire world and I honestly wouldn’t be who I am today and where I am today without them. And I don’t mean that in a cliched way, although that’s probably one of the most cliched statements eva. I mean that 100% wholeheartedly. Perhaps someday, you’ll read about it in my *fingers crossed* published memoir but for now, I’ll just say, they sacrificed a whole lot (friends, family, basic comforts) to migrate from Iran to NZ, a country where they didn’t know a word of the language or a thing about the place and they did all this, solely for the sake of me and my sister. So that we could be permitted higher-education and so, have a better and broader future.
So, without further adiue, meet maman Afsoon (Kaviani). I don’t know why she keeps her original last name. She’s the one who instilled the passion of healthy eating in me. She’s the one I’ve been crying on the phone to when things here have been excruciating and not surprisingly my blog’s biggest fan. And by that, I mean she likes EVERYTHING on Facebook and Instagram without actually ever clicking the links.
Next, Baba Sirous (Kazemi). Or Sirius as NZers mispronounce. He’s a real joker. And by that, I mean he thinks he’s funny, but he’s often just rude instead. He is the kebab master of our family. Persian kebabs, much to my disappointment, with ample meat. One day, about 6 years back, he stupidly used petrol to light his kebab charcoal because whatever he usually used wasn’t there or wasn’t working and long story short, he passed out from the fumes. Thankfully, he survived (after an ER visit!) and got back on the horse (cooked kebabs) the following day. This all took place because Baba loves EATING which places him behind my accidental eating of the whole thing(s).