Jun 30, 2017

Kyoto Temple


In Asian countries, a lot of times little school kids will come up to you and ask if they can practice their English. Often talking to a foreigner is a school assignment. I was at a temple in Kyoto early one morning doing a drawing. I was approached by a bunch of 14 year old school girls. Would I answer some questions? Sure, no problem. What's your name? Where are you from? That sort of thing. At one point they asked me, "what was my favorite Japanese food?" Yun and I always joke about this question. A few years ago, Yun and I were eating in a great NYC ramen joint. She noticed they had a small side dish of pickled mustard greens and ordered one. I didn't think much of it. At a certain point, I tried a little bit and nearly fell off my chair. I couldn't get enough. I ate the whole thing and Yun wasn't able to eat any. I kept raving about it. Yun said I could probably buy it in the Japanese supermarket near our apartment. Sure enough, they had it. I started bringing home huge bags of the stuff. Yun thought I was nuts. Our fridge is always full of it. The Japanese name for it is, "takana". So when the young school girls asked me what my favorite Japanese food was, I instantly said, "takana." All at once they squealed,"TAKANAAAA!" Then they burst out laughing and couldn't stop. Obviously every foreigner they ask this question to, says sushi or ramen or some such common thing. Never in their wildest dreams did they ever think this goofy white guy was going to say TAKANA. They made me pose for pictures with them. Then they looked through all my sketchbooks. Everyone got stickers for their skateboards. I'm sure they are still laughing to each other when they tell the story about the nut job whose favorite food was takana.

1 comment:

Mike Szwarc said...

Great Drawing. I love the calligraphy and stamps on the right. What does it say? Funny story, too. I lived in Japan for 3 years over 50 years ago, but alas, I've never been able to go back.