Yep. That's me. Scarfing down a dry roasted fish on a stick. It was delicious. :D
If any of you have bothered to stick around for a month or so without any posts, thank you! I am back. I finally have internet sorted out at my apartment, and now finally have a very small bit of breathing room in my schedule to make use of it. Let me tell you, teaching at seven different schools definitely takes it out of you!
So maybe you are wondering how life in Japan is? Short answer: busy, but sweet. If you want a longer answer, then keep reading.
Shall I begin with food? I think so.
Well...this may sound far too obvious, but I have been eating mostly Japanese food. This is great, because I making my way back into the loving arms of macrobiotics, and living in this country makes it so easy. I go to the grocery store, and there are aisles (yes, WHOLE aisles) of seaweed. And another aisle of miso. The veggies are great too. Daikon? check. Shitake? check. Greens? About a million different types. Check. About half the store is a fish section, with everything and anything you could possibly imagine.
Brown rice is available here, but is is mega expensive. I usually just suck it up and buy it, but sometimes I will cut it with a bit of Japanese white rice to save on some costs. And of course, when I eat out here, I am most often served white rice. I have learned to accept this inevitability. I can't always be too choosy, especially when living in a country that has subsisted on white rice for centuries!
Where I am living is famous for oranges, and they are delicious. I usually don't drink much fruit juice, but oh my gosh. The orange juice here is to die for. I'm serious. It is known as the best orange juice in Japan, and as far as i'm concerned, the best in the world!
I have eaten more bean products here than I ever have before. Which is wonderful. Back home, a part of the macrobiotic diet that I just couldn't seem to work with, were beans. Here, there are delicious dishes with beans in them. And I have found a new love: natto (fermented soy beans). And I have miso generally once a day, at least. I have also been eating some tofu. Plus, some of the most common desserts here seem to include red beans (mmm, delicious azuki beans). There are red bean soups, jellies, ice cream...you name it. My personal favourite is Red bean mochi. Oh. My. Gosh.
The mochi here is fantastic. I think I will do a whole post on this new love of my life. There are so many types that I could go on forever. The September festivals here in Japan involve watching the full moon. It is supposed to be the most beautiful moon of the year. Did you know that in Japan, they think the moon looks like two rabbits pounding mochi? (Mochi = pounded rice). My heart swelled with joy upon hearing this. Mochi and rabbits? Japan = the cutest country ever. Check!
A few food things that have taken me by surprise here are:
***the vast amounts of coffee that people here drink (i know...?). It is everywhere. Black coffee. Iced coffee. Lattes. Most people drink it. And they drink green tea.
***the dairy products...milk is part of the school lunches here. The western diet digs it's little claws in. Not necessarily a bad thing, but I am definitely allergic, so it makes things a bit trickier to read
***But, along with the few potentially negative surprises, were some good ones: little kids love to eat healthy things here! When they tell me about their favourite foods at school, they say things like "fish" or "sushi." Some even say "natto" and "shitake."
And yoga? Exercise?
My days include waking up really early and prepping classes, and coming home late and crashing. This has left me with little exercise time (sadly). I try to squeeze yoga in when I can, at home, but for the most part, I am walking lots, and I bike to all of my schools. At least I feel very lucky, that within minutes I can walk around places like this:
My guy was supposed to come to Japan in September, to live with me. But he didn't. Instead, in the wee hours of the morning on my birthday I heard a knock on my door. I decided to open it, despite being scared out of my mind, haha, and there he was! He fooled everyone, including my whole family. Three weeks early! I love surprises!
Phew. When you don't post in a month you have lots of things to say. Sorry for the bombardment. I am so very excited to finally catch up on all of your blogs! It is a part of my daily routine (along with morning yoga), that I have sorely missed. I hope the rest of August and September treated you all well, and that you are enjoying a gorgeous Autumn. I'll be back again soon with more food, i'm sure. And more details about how i'm feeling these days.
For now, I guess I have bigger fish to