Small inventions that awe! 2021.01.07
We had made a trip to the supermarket the night before. The rental cars’ trunks were overflowing with meat, vegetables, cooking utensils and spices. Not being a big fan of meat, I had prepared some small things that I had hoped would tide me over for dinner and breakfast. I had secured yoghurt, bananas, apples, bread and a few snacks. The first meal of the day for us at the campsite was lunch but it was very late - around 3:30pm - as we had spent the past few hours turning the campsite into a comfortable living space.
We rented a barbeque pit from the administrative office and informally, the guys in the group took charge and started igniting the coals and preparing the meat. After about thirty minutes, the coals were at their optimal level for cooking meat well and one quarter of our food supply disappeared as quickly as it was put on the barbeque grill.
The small things in Japan really impress me. I remember my first few months in awe at some of the inventions I had encountered - all designed with the goal of convenience in mind. There was a rainy day when my friend and I went into a museum for an exhibition and at the entrance an umbrella bagging machine had been placed. It is a simple design - insert the umbrella tip first into a hole that is lined with a plastic bag and then slide your umbrella forward out of the machine. Now you have an umbrella that was easily secured in bag and will keep massive ponds of rainwater from being dripped on the floor. The downside of course being the excessive waste of plastic.
That day as the men prepared the fire for the food, I was astonished to see the accelerant not in a conventional liquid form but in the form of a gel. It was clear and in a tube and while it was easier to control the distribution of the gasoline, the tubelike shape kept the owner of the product from squeezing out the full contents of the tube. Still, it was interesting to see. If you take a walk in the one hundred yen shop here you will discover many little creations that are cool and helpful. I remember packing my suitcases with creature comforts before I left my home country because I had no idea what I would be able to get my hands on once I landed. I should not have worried. Outside of my usual Caribbean cooking ingredients, nothing else is difficult to find.
I'm like a chihuahua. Small but fierce and full of energy. I'm generally a positive person and try to make the best of each day.