Finally I am here again. This is the city where I grew up. Kochi! How much I love it here! For a long time I could not come back to this place. Today I fully enjoyed the feeling of being back home at the Sunday street market. Ever since I was a child I often came here with my grandmother. She was a regular customer of some stands and was friends with some of those people. She used to chat and sometimes she could also get discounts on some items. This market is so lively and interesting. Since the situation is not very favourable right now, I see that it is somewhat reduced and not quite as colourful. I hope that this time will pass quicklöy and all of us can enjoy freedom in full.
“Hit your head on a corner of Tofu and die” is a Japanese saying that used to be commonly heard some time ago. All Japanese know that Tofu is quite soft and therefore this expression is extremely sarcastic. In Austria however the Tofu types usually sold at supermarkets are quite hard. Of course not as hard as stone but for Japanese it is very unusual and seems like a different kind of product. Obviously it is not conceivable to hit your head on it and die. Maybe if it were frozen…
Bad jokes aside. My great grandfather Shimeno produced Tofu as a job. I call him “Shimeno great grandfather” because his family had no children and adopted my grandfather (mother’s side) when he was a child. Therefore “Shimeno Great grandfather” is not a direct blood relative of us three. According to my mother, she and her parents lived together with Shimeno family until about the age of attending early primary school. After that my grandfather’s family moved to Tokyo where his real biological father lived.
As a young child, my mother experienced my great grandfather’s Tofu shop. That was a small Tofu shop which not only sold but also produced Tofu themselves. Early in the morning before sunrise my Shimeno’s Great Grandfather got up, lit the furnace and started cooking Tofu. When my mother got up to go the bathroom she always used to observe that and she always greeted him “Grandfather, do you make Tofu?”
When I remember this story of my mother, I can literally picture that scene. In the dark, the furnace brightly lit and a grandfather standing in front of it working. Close to him my grandmother as a child with a bob haircut walking by him half asleep and greeting him… I find that so heartwarming and it puts a smile on my face. My mother heard from my grandfather that cats often used to lie on the residually warm ashes of the previous day and when he lit the fire, those cats quickly came out and ran away.
By the way, Tofu is one of my favourite foods. I heard that “Shimeno Tofu” was pretty popular. I really wanted one time to try Shimeno Tofu. What kind of taste was it?…
Today is Thursday “Fronleichnam”, which is also a public holiday in Austria. After a long time I went for a walk around Museumsquartier. This is a very popular space between two museums. Until recently it was compulsory to wear a mask here and all the poular seats were not provided. Very few visitors and the square was almost empty. Today it was very lively again, benches were again provided and a new sculptures are here to decorate the space. Many people relaxing and enjoying the day. That is so nice to look at.
In front of a house there is a small flowerbed which I pass by almost every day. It is the flowerbed in this picture and it was a little joy to look at those plants. Somehow those small fruits got a little bigger each day and I thought they might be Strawberries. Yesterday when I passed by and was looking forward in joy to its growth. When I saw it however I felt some confusion. The flowers and fruits were gone! There may be some reasons but to me it is so sad that I cannot see them anymore. Just like the flowerbed which does not belong to me, such things happen and there is just nothing we can do about them.
I am so happy, that restaurants and cafés are open again in Vienna. To me it feels as though the city of Vienna has recovered from an injury. After some illness when one finally goes outside, everything looks fresh. And one realizes again that one has recovered with a grateful feeling in the heart. I think everyone has some kind of such an experience. I feel that the city of Vienna had suffered together with its inhabitants. I wish for a continued recovery.
That was a long time. Finally Vienna emerges from lockdown. Cafés, restaurants, hotels, etc. are finally allowed to open their doors to the public. There are still measures taken to allow guests to enter such as Covid test result, proof of vaccination and proof of past infection. There is a limited number of guests per square meter and per table. I feel that everyone is relieved and I yam happy as well. Unfortunately today’s weather was not very good but I felt that rain was refreshing. Finally Austria is categorized as a safe country (Category A).
In Vienna nature is in full bloom and a beautiful season has arrived. Recently after a long lockdown period finally shops opened up again. After May 19th other locations such as restaurants will open again. Finally Vienna will come closer to some normailty.