You understand me more than I understand myself. When did I have such a feeling? Looking at myself through others’ eyes always gives me a somewhat surreal feeling, but occasionally it also exposes some hidden parts of my personality. Furze is exactly the person who lends me such a lens.
Reading her Japan food journal, the beautiful illustrations of the tasty dishes all look so appetizing. “Food should not be classified as high-end or low-end”, any foodie can become one of her loyal readers like myself. People who have a pure passion for food know how to make themselves happy. Like how we can find extraordinary happenings in our ordinary everyday life, delicacies can always calm a disquieted soul, as a warm soup in winter soothes both the body and the mind. Some tastes are unique because they can recall moments that you did not realize they were so vividly imprinted in your mind.
Her memory and yours may sometimes cross path. When she talked about the fragrance of the dark roast coffee in the kissatens（喫茶店）, I instantly thought of the Whisky coffee that I enjoyed so much in Kyoto. When she talked about the juicy Japanese eel that is crispy on the outside, it recalled my memory of having the medium-sized Japanese eel rice box. Not wanting to waste the chance of enjoying such delicacy, I tried so hard to finish it even the portion was way too big.
Reading the book over and over again, I began to wonder, do Furze and I share the same experience? The trip to Shikoku in Japan seems to be continuing; it is a treat exclusive to the taste bud of travelers. Delicacy is certainly important to food lovers, on the other hand, everything you eat would become part of the memory, which can someday save you from the low point of your life and give you the strength to continue moving forward again.
Sometimes I would just stay silent and let my memory drift back to the cherished scenes of streets where the air was too cold to breathe. Casually tossing a coin into the vending machine and had a sip of the not-so-authentic canned black coffee, all I wanted was to fill my body with the glittering warmth at night. No more and no less. The fragrance and temperature from my memory, the emotion I had, they are more vivid than reality.
Encounters that catch your attention would let you relax and focus on enjoying the moment. Sometimes while taking a random stroll, you could finish a broken sentence that you began writing a few years back, as though having a walk completes your train of thought.
Heading out, going home, filling up the empty stomach — this is a loop that goes on and on. Is delicious food comforting enough? Returning to the peace of mind after an exhausting time, does this feel the same as gulping down a big sip of Japanese sake after working overtime for a few days in a row? Let the alcohol flow down your throat to start everything anew, you would then be ready for another challenge.
Everyday life could be like a jingling bell rolling on the road, a weightless paper boat swinging in the air, you have no idea how much time has passed. No matter what it was, life brought me to finish writing a passage of joy. If someone, by any chance, picks up the passage to read, they should read it with a can of black coffee from the vending machine.