7 non-food things

Some time ago, when there were blog memes galore, I vowed never to do another meme again. Then I got tagged by Mei from mei eats, a really fun food blog from Taipei. So since this gives me a good excuse to link to Mei, here are some non-food facts about your humble author, other than what's on my about page.

  • I react very badly to insect bites, but seem to be very attractive to those little buggers. I get bitten by mosquitoes way more than people around me typically. When I got my Japanese encephalitis vaccination in school, I got a fever and was sick for a whole week. As for horseflies - if I get bitten by one of those it's horrible - massive swelling, pain, etc. This is the main reason I haven't traveled more than I have to warm/tropical areas of the world, though I really want to. If tame Swiss mosquitoes can feast so well on my blood...
  • I played World of Warcraft for just one day, before I realized that if I continued I'd basically lose all my free time to it, so I stopped and cancelled my membership pronto.
  • I am obsessed with miniatures, especially of food (as in dolls house miniatures and shokugan). I make some things...maybe some day I will reveal them to the world.
  • I'm left handed, but use chopsticks with my right hand - I believe my mother sort of force-trained me to because my grandfather couldn't stand to see me using chopsticks in my left hand. (There used to be quite a prejudice against lefthandedness in Japan...I think in other parts of the world too.) When I knit, I do it ambidexterously (I always keep the front side facing me).
  • I was a fine arts major in university to start with. I ended as a medieval history major.
  • I am semi-fluent in French and German...can read newspapers and magazines fairly well in both, and do basic conversation, but forget about in-depth philosophical discussions or reading novels. I still can't speak Schwiizerdütsch (Swiss-German) (except for a choice collection of swear words) but understand most of what people say to me. I am totally fluent in Japanese and English.
  • When I was 6, my parents moved the family to an area of England where we were the only non-white family for miles around. I went to the public school in town, and was chased around by a gang of jeering older kids chanting "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, what are these" etc. who frightened me so much that I refused to go back to that school ever. (My parents put me into a private all-girls school, which was terrific, and of which I only have fond memories. I should also say that other than that incident at the school we never had problems in that town, though when we went even further into the country people used to stare at us! Things have changed a lot in England since then.)

    Later on, when I was 11, we moved to White Plains, New York. My first day at the local elementary school, I was surrounded by kids of all colors and shapes, all friendly and eager to get to know me - this odd Japanese girl with a British accent. The next day there as a big school barbeque, where my new friends really took care of me. That was my first impression of America, and it's been a lasting one. I know that there are many people who have a negative impression of the US, both inside and out, but I believe with all my heart that it's a great country with great people from all corners of the world, somehow managing to create a wonderful society. That's why I took U.S. citizenship, and even if my cultural and ethnic roots are in Japan and I live in Europe now, I am quite proud, in a sort of non-militaristic way, to be an American. Yay, happy 4th again y'all.

If you want to do this meme yourself, please go ahead...

Filed under:  offbeat

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Where do you live now?
Enough said.

And I hope for your sake that you still get more bites from mosquitoes than people near you. Ouch! ;-) (P.S. Two of your non-food things were food-adjacent. Happens to the best of us.)

Sean, I can't get away from food too far I'm afraid :)

anon person, the fact that I live in Switzerland atm has nothing to do with wanting to escape the US! If a good job opportunity came up there (for me or the bovo-vegetarian) I'd be happy to live there.

I'm left-handed as well. I always get comments from my relatives when I go back to Japan about how I use chopsticks left-handed.

I have this way of knitting where I throw the yarn and hold the needle with the stitches in my left hand. Knitters think this looks bizarre as well, but my knitted fabrics look nice and even.

Happy 4th from Philadelphia!

Happy 4th to you too Yoko!

Hi there! I am relatively new to reading your blog and I LOVE IT (sorry for shouting). Although I am american and I live in northern Virginia, I love all things Japanese. I am currently reading the Okinawa Plan, which is a book based on a 25 year research project into longjevity and diet.

Anyway, thank you so much for your wonderful blog and posts. I have been enjoying going back and reading past entries. A few days ago I bought some soba noodles and am planning on trying your recent recipe. We have been having alternate days of high heat/humidity and lovely weather. The back and forth is brutal!

Thank you again and peace to you and your family.


Hi Andra, I'm glad you enjoy the site! The weather in Virginia seems a lot like the weather in much of Japan (hot and humid in the summer) so Japanese food, and Okinawan food, should fit quite well!

Your site is the only one I follow with some regularity, not only because we share an interest (or should I say an enthusiasm?) for food, but because I like your style.

I am a transplant to the US. I don't think I would like to live anywhere else, in spite of some, how shall I put it, questions. I have found Americans quite open and generous, and, living here in New York, I find the food diverse and imaginative. I could recommend a few places right in my neighbourhood when you come for a visit.

I have told about your site to others, and I hope they are logging in and enjoying it as much as I do.

Cheers and good eating.

(I am heading for food and wine!)


From something else you have written elsewhere I have a memory that you were in Berkshire...

Small Children (age 6) are horrible...I know, I went to 6 schools...

But on behalf of my district, I apologise...not all of us are/were like that...I hope that if you were to visit again you would find it much much changed...

The food selection in that bit of Berkshire however is nothing to write home about...!