Tag Archives: supermarket


True calendar

I finished Adriene’s 30 day True series this morning. It was good, just the right speed for where I am in the recovery process, and the final sun salutation brought with it a sense of closure. As I breathed deeply into my rapidly recovering lungs, I glanced out the window at the men pouring concrete into the foundation of the new house going up next door and I gave thanks that I wasn’t them. My little space heater barely makes a dent in the frigid air so my breath fogged the window as my toes turned blue, but I gave thanks all the same. One does not wear socks when one does downward dog. Yoga must be approached with respect and I give it with gratitude and humility.

Last week I lost my Pasmo train pass, the day after I’d charged it with 5000yen. An hour later I got a call from a station employee saying they’d found it and I could come pick it up. Ah, Japan. I gave thanks.

On Monday I had a wicked scare at the hospital but the doctors went into overdrive and fixed the problem. Their bedside manners might leave something to be desired, but they know their stuff when it comes to medicine. I gave thanks, more than once.

Tokyu shoppers

Yesterday at the supermarket, an old lady was having a hard time with her shopping cart so I helped her with it. Not only did she not give thanks, she didn’t even look at me, just walked away with a “harumph”. Meh. Her problem, not mine, but I watched my brownie points swarm with confusion, not knowing quite what to do with themselves.

Tomorrow I board a plane for a long overdue vacation in Hawaii where I will be able to salute the sun properly, and she will cook some of the stiffness out of my joints and muscles. Then I will stuff myself with mangoes and listen to the sound of the surf and congratulate myself for surviving last year, all the while giving thanks.

I will continue to give thanks, for the sun in the sky and the air in my lungs and the blood in my veins and being able to walk and talk and see and sleep and eat and think and feel and love. Thanks.

Yutenji Buddha

Stop, Thief!


Despite it being the middle of November, the local supermarket currently has an extensive selection of tiny tomatoes. Customers can mix and match as we see fit, but they are horrifically expensive and to be honest, I’m rather tired of tiny tomatoes. (The plant in our garden is STILL bearing fruit!) However, while I consider myself something of an urban sophisticate, I realized much to my chagrin that I had never tasted a purple tomato. What if I were to run into, say, Brad Pitt and he asked me if I liked purple tomatoes and I wouldn’t be able to answer? This rankled.

At once, the curious kitten in me awoke, stretched and blinked her eyes. What might a purple tomato taste like? Grape Kool-Aid® (proudly produced by Kraft Foods since 1927)? A raspberry Popsicle® (accidentally invented by Frank Epperson in 1905)? An eggplant Pop-Tart® (Kellogg, 1964)? The mind boggles.

At the same time, there was something off-putting about the color; I have a bruise on my thigh about that shade. But still, I knew to the depth of my soul that I would toss and turn for nights on end and, if I were ever released into the sweet arms of sleep, my dreams would be haunted with angry killer tomato monsters chasing me down darkened alleys, leaving behind trails of purple-tinted tomato blood dotted with slippery seeds of Satan spawn.

I picked one up and held it in my palm. Then I tweaked off the stem and popped it into my mouth. It tasted like…wait for it…drum roll, please…

A tomato!

I was not disappointed; quite the contrary. There was once an Asian looking family in a supermarket in California, its members taking jars of things off the shelves, opening, tasting, wincing, and putting them back. Well, I can understand that. What if you tasted something that looked like tahini or miso but turned out to be Skippy® Super Chunk peanut butter (which is kosher and contains no cholesterol)?

Sometimes it is enough that things are what they are and are not trying to be anything else. If the eggplant Pop-Tart® scenario had played out, I could well have fainted right on the spot, then the tomato monsters would have gotten me for sure.

So now, if anyone asks, I can say I know what a purple tomato tastes like. I will sleep deeply tonight. And Brad, baby, bring it on. I’m ready for you.



On sale! Only 98yen!
On sale! Only 98yen!

I was waiting in line at the supermarket, clutching my carton of eggs and sandwiched between a little old codger with a basket full of food and a rather creepy looking tall guy who kept shoving his basket into my back, perhaps thinking that would make the line move faster. I sighed inside my head, thinking how nice it would be if the codger would let me go first, then sighed again, knowing that doesn’t happen here. Gentlemanly deference to a lady is not a part of traditional politesse. Also, this is a nation of people accustomed to waiting in line in an orderly fashion—for good reason. It is astonishing that so many people can coexist in such close proximity and still keep things functioning smoothly. (Most of the time. Basket-back-shover was pushing the limits of accepted behavior.)

I looked at my eggs as I tried to maneuver away from shovey-man, wondering if I really wanted them that much, when the codger turned to me and said, “You’ve only got one item. Why don’t you go first?” I was shocked but delighted. The check-out lady was just shocked.

Thank you, Codger-san. May the sun shine a little brighter on your side of the street.