This marks the last post for Green Piazza and it’s where I get to write about my future plans.
I remember as a kid growing up getting excited when I found a grocery that sold Harina Pan (main ingredient for Venezuelan arepas) because it meant I wouldn’t have to wait for the next trip to Venezuela to bring Harina Pan home in my suitcase. There were no Venezuelan restaurants around, so the only Venezuelan food we ate outside of Venezuela was the food that we prepared.
I went to New York for the first time recently. As far as food went, I knew what I should get: New York style pizza, Puerto Rican or Dominican food from Spanish Harlem and/or some form of tasty meat from a food truck.
I knew what I should’ve gotten, but the truth is I arrived in New York a little too hungry and settled for the first busy burger spot I could find near Times Square. The toppings were tasty, but the meat was dry. It was nothing worth blogging about. I was too full to venture elsewhere to try a better dish. I only had five hours left in the city so I felt like I had come to a food mecca of flavors and ordered toast.
Out of all the weekly challenges this is the only challenge that I was too shy to do. Sort of.
When I think of foods I’ve always wanted to try, grasshoppers is no where on that list yet one night I found myself face-to-face with a grasshopper challenge. I was at a Thai restaurant in the countryside in Japan. It was a place that I frequented at least twice a month with some of my Japanese hip-hop friends.
That night I had slipped into the restaurant for some curry and was greeted by the waitress with a smile. She invited us to try something new. Grasshoppers in a brownish glaze.
So, I’ve never been to Kenya, but I have had homemade Kenyan food in Japan.
When I sat down to write this post, I found myself wanting to avoid it. I went to the kitchen to munch on some spinach (one of my comfort foods.) I came back and now I sit trying to some up how this process has been.
Why am I trying to avoid this post?
Well, I guess it’s because when I started this blog I knew it would only be for forty weeks. As I write I realize in three more weeks Green Piazza will come to an end.
If you ever have the privilege of living in Japan for a while, you’ll more-than-likely run into someone who will ask you this question:
“Can you eat natto?”
What is natto you ask? Natto is fermented soybeans, which doesn’t sound so bad, right? If you have experienced natto, however, you know that its actuality is far worse than its description.
The night was warm as we all crowded into the living room of a Peruvian lady old enough to be my aunt. She lived in a two-story home on the outskirts of Tokyo and always loved having people in her home. That night she was having a party and I can’t remember the occasion, since she often had parties, but I do remember feeling happy to be invited.
For this week’s challenge I had the privilege of translating a portion of a book. Below is a section from a chapter titled, “Luis” from Danilo Fernando Gutierrez Baella’s book Aunque Sea Solo en Sueños.
The cellular rings abruptly and I nervously let the old diploma I held in my hands fall. I pick up the scribbled on pages and pictures that covered the vibrating phone and answer before they can hang up.
“Hello? Chabela? Good morning, good to hear from you… How are y…? What’d you say? But… What happened with…? Of course, of course… it doesn’t matter. You don’t know and you have no to reason to know, right? It’s fine. So I’ll go Monday to finalize my affairs with the company and my severance pay… Monday too, right…?”
I’m frozen. The girls, the delivery, the debts… In one second all parade in front of my tired, resigned eyes. I run my fingers through the fuzz that still sprouts on my shiny head. “Is it me, or all of these makeshift pseudo-businessmen… People who got accustomed to the good, the pretty and more than anything the cheap? It’s not me… quality costs, experience has value… But there are so many slack brats that compete with master degrees in “How to pass paper tests in Marketing in the New Millennium,” which makes it difficult to sell an image with the support of training that the years can only give you… and blah, blah, blah…” My brain digresses. It tries to understand.