When in Rome… 2021.12.03
If I have not said so before, I will mention it again for the record - I am not a foodie in any way. I am not particularly interested in food and it is not one of the great passions of my life. Sure, I enjoy trying new things and my curiousity is peaked when I see something in the supermarket that might be interesting to cook. I hardly ever use recipes and simply rely on my imagination to put ingredients together to make a new dish. I am incorrigibly lazy when it comes to following recipes and spending hours making just one dish. So on this great trip (my second if I am being honest) to Okinawa I had no single-minded quest to hunt the local dishes of the island. On an island like Tokashiki, there might have been something extra special - different from the mainland of Japan, unique from Okinawan restaurants, something that spoke of the originality of this Polynesian like island - but nope, zero interest.
Since moving to Japan, I have realised something about Asian culture and about people that I have never thought about. I often travel and coming from a small island, seeing the big, awesome world is edifying. My sisters and I are a bit picky about food, there are two vegetarians in our family after all so we have never thought of enjoying the food of another country to connect with the people. It is true though, that to really understand people you should know about their language, dress, food, manners and traditions. Seems that we were never true explorers just surface visitors enjoying the touristy things that cities and countrysides offered but never going more than five percent into the life of a national.
When my cousin visited Japan, his daily goal was to find something special and amazing to eat. I could not fathom this dedication to food. He said simply that to know the people, you should have a go at what they enjoy. They got it right when they said, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. It is the same for my Vietnamese, Taiwanese, Chinese and Japanese housemates. They love eating and exposing their palates to food from other countries.
We have had countless food parties and everyone thoroughly enjoys making something to put on display and up for tasting much to the delight of my housemates. My reaction had always been tepid until earlier this year.
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.