Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Sweetest Pocky

My day hadn't started well. It had me feeling sad and full of regret. I needed a good dose of quiet and calm to know where and how to step next.

I was in Kyoto at the time so headed off for Ohara, in the Kyoto hinterlands. Getting on the bus, I was happy to have gotten the last seat for the hour long ride. After a couple of stops, three sweet old ladies hopped on. I have to confess, I did consider staying in my seat, my feet sore from two days of walking. Instead, I got up and offered my treasured spot to one of the women. After a short protest, she gladly took it.

The bus was crowded but I was lucky enough to have a good view out the window. I watched the landscape change from bustling city centre, to city outskirts, to rural towns to the wooded mountains.

When we finally arrived at our destination, the lovely old lady who had accepted my seat rummaged through her bag. She produced a box of Pocky, a Japanese snack of chocolate coated biscuit sticks. She handed it to me, telling me it was to thank me for the seat. I was so touched and the gesture really made my day. Pocky has never tasted so sweet.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Going Bananas

For a long time now, I've always eaten a banana with breakfast. While I wouldn't claim it to be my favourite fruit, it's high up there. It's convenient (no washing or cutting); unlike most fruit, it's filling; it's tasty; it's one of the few fruits I'm not allergic to and it's a fruit I can buy cheaply, all year round in Japan. Until now.

A couple of weeks ago, they disappeared from the supermarkets. Why? It all has to do with a fad banana diet. A friend of mine watched the TV show that tested the diet and the ironic thing is, it didn't even work for the woman trying it out. And yet it seems like the nation is eager to get on it.

Last weekend Wayne happened to be at the supermarket at opening time. He went straight for the bananas. He and everyone else. He ended up walking away for a while, surprised at the rush. After picking up the other things we needed, he went back. Then the crowd around the banana shelves had thinned but was still four people deep and he had to fight to get us a bunch.

I wish everyone would get over this latest fad. I want my morning banana again!

Photo by -eko-