I came to Japan at eight years old for the first time, and have been there in total three years of my life. Ramen became a bit of a … help? When things got a
I came to Japan at eight years old for the first time, and have been there in total three years of my life. Ramen became a bit of a … help? When things got a bit messy, I could get a bowl of soup to drown myself in. At home, or on the street. So here is me trying to recover my childhood, in a classic psychological way. The grade? 3 out of 5, like yesterday. Here the soup was huge! But not as good as yesterday. Plus that I had to speed it up since they didn’t have anything for Giselle.
“Noodles are just noodles” you might think. But then you are so wrong that I cannot even describe it. Watch Tampopo.
Giselle is an engineer, with her own company. Part of her jobs are simply to approve other people’s building. Like, you want to raze a wall in your flat, so you need an engineer to do the calculations and give you a paper to say that it’s OK. If you end up razing your building, the engineer gets to pay. It takes a lot of calculations. But people aren’t willing to pay for all that calculation, since there are tons of engineers who just sign the papers, take the money, and hope that things work out well. So for those who’d really like to check that everything actually functions, it gets a lot of low-paid work. That sucks. But she had a meeting with a bigger client later that day, which turned out very promising.
Being “Brazilian Japanese” is completely different from being Japan-Japanese. My dad knew plenty of Japanese Brazilians in Japan, who came there during the roaring 1980s. And simply didn’t fit. Japan is cold in a very polite way, which is not the way Brazilian grandchildren does it. They look Japanese, speak the language, but simply do not enter the invisible but critical cultural infrastructure. So what we have here in São Paulo is like a new kind of ethnicity. A mix! And I like it. I also like the cold politeness of Japan as well. I love it. I love some theatre. Maybe because I grew into it as a kid. I always feel so … appreciated in Japan, no matter the fact that I’m just a dirty foreigner. And I feel just as appreciated in Brazil. These are my countries <3
Then I went home to cook dinner for Pam. She has been doing so much at home these days, that I just had to give something back. The tzatziki was ok, if you ask me. I had oregano in it! And tons of cucumber, because I like it. If Pam does, I don’t know, since she is too polite. I had no berbere spice since the number of Habish (Eritrea/Ethiopia) simply aren’t enough in São Paulo, but I found a recipe and made some myself. Unfortunately, the lentils were the wrong kind, so I had to cook them, cook them, cook them forever until they softened. The end taste was something completely different than planned. But quite good actually! Pam’s favourite. The hummus was a total failure. But that’s the good with making three sauces: one of them will work!
In the evening, the “street man” came with my light-pink hat! I had forgotten it in the taxi yesterday, and the street man somehow had it. They take care of everything.
Don’t use a taxi sober – you might lose something you love!