Those random drives to places I’ve not been yet.
Strolling through a rural, revived Japanese town. A new book shop and cafe, some tea stores, the feel of a place that should be forgotten, but has somehow been renewed and reconsidered. Small rivers teeming with fish, tiled roofs, sliding screen doors, cobbled streets, a procession of Porsches, one to nine.
A plate of deep-fried pork cutlet, dripped in miso sauce, surrounded by small dishes: a cabbage salad, miso soup, white rice, devil’s tongue slabs and yuzu sauce, sweet red bean paste of a tofu shape and consistency; watermelon. Simple. Delightful. Tasty. Filling.
The boy slurps noodles, picks at my cutlet, and is fed pumpkin and mushroom tempura.
Later, in a quaint ice cream shop, she eats a crepe with chocolate ice cream, while I have raspberries and rare cheese and vanilla ice cream in a waffle cone.
We buy onions, potatoes, and carrots at a roadside farmers market. I dodge shoppers. The boy wants to carry the basket. I resist the urge to argue with him that he’s going to just give it to his mother to carry soon anyways, and why don’t I just carry it for him?
Obviously not going to happen.
I drool at Ducatis and Ninjas, but – aware of the heat and the traffic – am not so envious. Just a little. I consider looking at bikes in shops on the way back, but prefer to keep driving.
I walk to the store later. I get gyoza and lettuce. I make salad, rice and gyoza. The boy loves it and offers to share the last one. I marvel at his ability as a two-year old to consider other peoples feelings.
I appreciate it all.