13 November, 2013

Japan Photo #42 answer

Last week I posed this question (here):
Can you tell me where I found these leaves for sale? Bonus points if you can tell my why I might spend 250 yen (AU$2.50) on them.
Well, I had few responses. Carol correctly guessed exactly which shop I found them (she's a local): a fruit and vegetable shop. And there were several guesses as to what I would do with them if I'd bought them, including use them for wrapping mochi (pounded rice treat) or onigiri (rice balls) or even in tempura.

Today I put the question to my two language-exchange partners. Though they are both Japanese, neither could come up with a good reason for why these were for sale in a fruit and vegetable shop.

The small-print writing indicates the contents are fruit, though they clearly aren't. So my friends' best guess was that it was a mistake.

So I guess we'll never know! Which is true for many things when you're living in a culture that you didn't grow up in. Many, many things you just don't know or don't know why. That is highlighted when you get visitors from "home" who ask all the "why" questions, many of which you have to answer, "I don't know." It is strange or even frustrating  to them, I'm sure. But, in order to not drive yourself crazy, you do learn to be comfortable with a high level of mystery about your country of residence.

1 comment:

-J said...

Living with constant ambiguity and lots and lots of unknowns can be very unsettling. And I think it's a hard concept to communicate to folks "back home." This is a good concrete example.