Sweet Potato was in love with Turnip. Turnip felt the same way about Sweet Potato. There was no reason why they shouldn't be together; thew were both root vegetables, after all. But they had their differences from time to time. Sweet Potato was impetuous and was quick to jump(more) to conclusions. He was happiest at Thanksgiving, when he was allowed to be one of the stars of the table.
Turnip, on the other hand, preferred to take things slow. She liked being outdoors and was fond of horses. She had a fresh, crunchy texture that made her popular with horses, also. Sweet Potato was often jealous of the time Turnip spent away from him, outdoors.
Their romance went along swimmingly for a time. But one day Parnsip entered the picture. Parnsip vied for Sweet Potato's attention. Turnip was afraid she couldn't compete. Parnsip was sweet and had a soft mushy texture, though her core could be a little stiff at times. Turnip shed bitter tears.
But their story has a happy ending because Sweet Potato needed Turnip's earthiness - he and Parsnip were too much alike. So Parsnip ran off with Carrot. They had a few things in common but they were actually quite different and that's why they got along so well.(less)
I am reminded of the crooked stout folk elders of Okinawa. Faces round as the moon. Short, incredibly short. Pushing barrows over little plots tucked between the urban sprawls.
I am reminded of the day I sold peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in a park near Naha. O(more)f the group of Americans, my Japanese was closest to fluent.
The little stand was for a group called O.C.E.A.N., It was an acronym the meaning of which I've now forgotten, but our goal was to raise awareness about water pollution and beach litter.
The day was cool, it drizzled, but the profits from my PB&J sales rivaled the combined earnings of the merchants to the left and right. As evening began to fall only small bunches of Okinawan's wandered through the banyan tree park.
Among the bunches of people was a group of three elderly women who had passed me by repeatedly on their exercise routes. Swinging their arms and speaking in the dying language of Okinawa.
They were preparing to leave as one of the women curiously approached my stand.
Two loaves of wheat bread remained, three jars of peanut butter, three of raspberry jam. Her deep brown eyes assessed the wares and curiosity formed furrows in her brow.
"Mugi no pan?" she asked. "Is this wheat bread".
"Hai, mugi desu" I replied.
She told me she would like to buy some bread, my japanese language ability has atrophied horribly so I cannot recount to you the words, but at the time I understood.
How much would you like? I asked in Japanese. (I am sad that I cannot even remember how to say that any longer)
"zenbu" she replied, "all of it".
"zenbu?!" I laughed and sold her everything.
She turned to her friends excitedly "mugi no pan desu ne!"