I could go on for a very long time about Tokushima and the people I’ve met there. But, for the sake of chronicling the rest of my adventures, I will sum up some of the highlights in this post.
Some friends from church took me out for the day to Naruto. This is the portal between Tokushima and the mainland of Japan. It boasts a big bridge with whirlpools swirling beneath it. We weren’t able to see any that day, but I did get to go underneath the bridge for the first time. Naruto boasts some great views, whether it be of the Pacific Ocean or the inland sea. It also has some very Fresh & Delicious seafood. (That one was for you, Zac)
I love spending time with these two. While I was living in Japan and homesick for my family, they reminded me so much of my parents. Mrs. S is expressive, energetic, sociable, creative, and lives with constant gratitude for the little wonders that make up the days. Mr. S hangs back in conversation so that Mrs. S can shine, but his intellect, humility, sense of humor, and inner calm make him a great conversationalist.
Lemon Meringue Disaster
Meanwhile, in Kamiita Town, two girls decided to try their hands at a lemon meringue pie. After burning the first batch of milk on the stove, they decided to substitute the recipe with soymilk. The pie looked GREAT until they cut it open and found that soymilk cannot be used as a substitute in this recipe.
We learned a good lesson that day.
DonDon Okonomiyaki (they have a Facebook Page!)
Okonomiyaki is a type of Japanese pancake or pizza. The name means something like “As You Like”. The dish consists of flour, egg, water, and cabbage mixed together with any other ingredients you like. One of my friends is the daughter of the best okonomiyaki makers in Tokushima. His restaurant was closed for a while in 2016 to do some renovations. I got to see the new face of DonDon before its official re-opening on January 10th, 2017. We tested out the 3 meters worth of grill with a variety of recipes, slathering the top of each with Japanese BBQ sauce, Mayo, seaweed and fish powder. I even got to introduce them to Minnesota Style Okonomiyaki, which includes SPAM and wild rice. The fact that the Okonomiyaki Master approved made me pretty proud. We finished off the afternoon with a round of karaoke. I did my part by singing in a way that makes everyone else confident they won’t be the worst singer in the group.
Over the river and through narrow streets, to Grandmother’s house I went. I met Grandmother when I was lost one day and struck up a conversation. She sent me home with vegetables, and I returned to offer her some baked goods as a thank you. That’s where our friendship started, and I was so glad to see another chapter in the story.
She was the inspiration for my Japanese speech topic, “Paying it Forward”.