Hard to believe my first trip to Japan was more than 20 years ago. That trip was one that I had to plan for quite a while…. in those early days of paying back student loans and living in New York, I really didn’t have much “disposable income.”
In fact, I don’t know that I had any but I did have frequent flyer miles and my little sister was living there so once I had saved up miles, I was able to make the trip! Then I figured out that I could freelance by interviewing a rice farmer or two and I realized I could spend a few bucks here and there if I really saved up!
As I was packing for the trip, I started thinking about food. I was wondering about whether sushi there would be at all recognizable to me. Whether I would find anything like the Japanese hibachi grills I knew, etc.
By the time I landed in Osaka, I was sort of tired and had enough of airline meals but I was excited to see my sis and we had a bit of a trip ahead of us to get to the house. By then she had asked me about some of the things she’d asked me to bring and we were unpacking some things. Next thing I knew, she was making Kraft Macaroni & Cheese!
See, she was pregnant (first trimester) and quite frankly she had requested the foods that she wanted to eat. I had gone to Sam’s as requested and brought a huge pack of Mac & Cheese. Since I was coming from NY, I also brought a load of bagels.
She was giddy. I stood there trying to figure out how to get Japanese food.
Seriously. Itadakimasu should be said for more than that!
I can’t tell you how often she opted for mac & cheese those two weeks…. but we found a rhythm that would let her eat something that she could have a appetite for and keep down and still let me eat local.
There are lots of reasons this story comes to mind time and time again…. First of all, my little sister has long gotten over morning sickness and a desire to eat mac & cheese several times a day! We always seen to find Japanese restaurants and favorite foods.
But I have to say today it comes to mind cause I’m thinking of my dear nephew she was pregnant with. And thinking of my nephew ALWAYS makes food come to mind cause that dude is always ready to eat!
He and I had a great couple of weeks in Japan a couple of years ago without a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese in sight! I would say his objective was to eat his way through Japan…. and I would swear he only went to Hiroshima with me cause that region has the best okonomiyaki.
We had so many great meals…. sometimes just the two of us finding a place nearby by window shopping, other meals eaten in the homes of dear friends and family. And we almost always started by saying itadakimasu!
I am doing ok so far…. but I have some travel coming up so posts will likely be shorter. Still going for 30 days of memories.