sechan19: (butterfly)
[personal profile] sechan19
I'm the type of person who doesn't really feel hungry after I wake up. It usually takes me several hours after waking up to feel hungry, and for that reason I've never been much of a breakfast eater.

The last few days I've been staying with my friend Eunja and her family in Tokyo. Eunja lives with her husband, her son, and her mother-in-law. They've been feeding me extremely well at breakfast, although I've eaten sparingly in return. (I've been out most of the time the last couple of days for a conference, so I haven't had lunch or dinner with the family.) This morning, Eunja cut some fresh peaches for me and brewed a cup of tea, and I sat down to take care of some email and long-overdue reading—the usual drill—while I drank the tea and nibbled at the peaches.

As I worked, breakfast began to take shape around me. Rice was steamed, Korean vegetables, tofu dishes, and soups were brought out. Then Hamni (grandmother) and Eunja both began to ask me if I was going to eat. "Are you going to have some rice?" asked Hamni. I declined. She looked at Eunja in consternation. Eunja offered me yogurt, and I declined. She offered me cereal, and I declined. I explained that I never felt very hungry just after waking up, and the fruit was more than ample for me.

"I thought Americans eat lots and lots of food!" said Hamni.

"Oh, I suppose I'm not a very American American," I replied.

"Well, you have eat well to live well," said Hamni, and she went back to setting up the breakfast table, adding as she did: "I would have thought Americans need to eat lots and lots of food."

I returned to my work, and Eunja set about the task of spooning up bowls of rice. When she had two bowls prepared, Hamni broke in again: "Are you going to have some rice?" she asked me.

I looked at Eunja. Eunja looked at me.

"Maybe if I just have a small portion of rice?" I said.

Eunja immediately grabbed a bowl and spooned a half portion of rice into it. "Like this?" she asked.

"Yes, that's good," I said.

I took my bowl of rice to the table and sat down. Hamni ladled up a bowl of cold onion soup and gave me a dish of Korean daikon radishes. "You have to eat well to live well," she told me.

"Yes, that's true," I said and ate my breakfast.
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May 2014

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