The taste of salt and toasted sesame seeds on hot rice is heavenly as the steam wafts the smell up to my nostrils and fogs my glasses up. I feel the moisture on my skin from the heat and I salivate. Suddenly I am young again, sitting on the tatami mats at the table; my chopsticks eagerly awaiting my fingers on them to scoop up this simple but scrumptious meal. My mother raps at my fingers as she reminds me to wait until after we pray.

Here it’s different. The smell that slaps you across the face is the overwhelming smell of coffee, hinted later on with the nauseating smells of fast food and the occasional meat based dish. Everything too fattening and way too oily. The honks of the cars and the sounds of th people are loud and menacing; everything seems like an exaggeration of real life.

As I get on the bus I look forward to going back to bed, wrapped up in white linen sheets with the simple bowl my gomashio will make.


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