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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Okinawa food

"Sea grapes"
Yesterday I went with two Swedish friends who are in Sapporo now to a Okinawa style restaurant. They had been there once before, and amazingly enough the staff remembered not only that my friends were Swedish but they also remembered every single dish they had ordered. So they could recommend food not tried before.

Pig's feet.
When we entered, the owner told the part-time waitress "These people are from Sweden", and the waitress pointed at me and said "And he is a magician! He did magic for me once."... So my Swedish friend asked me if this happens to me every time I go out (or only when she is around). Sadly, it seems to happen mainly when she is around and not very often at other times.

Food made from papaya that is not sweet.
Apart from very nice food from Okinawa, the chef also came out and started playing Okinawan music on an Okinawan instrument for us.

Okinawa potato
Since our waitress was actually from Okinawa (none of the others were), I asked her if it was true that in Okinawa people say "agijabiyou" when they are surprised (as an Okinawan magician told me in Osaka). She confirmed it at seemed surprised that I knew that. Not surprised enough to say agijabiyou, though.

There was also a free concert from two brothers who were promoting their December concert in Sapporo's finest concert hall (Kitara). The brothers called themselves Se-no and were good. Since the restaurant was Okinawan, one might expect that maybe these musicians were too, but they said they were from Wakkanai. That would be Japan's northernmost town... the exact opposite of Okinawa (the southernmost part of Japan)...

Root beer. Too sweet for Japanese people, but available in Okinawa since there is a large American military base there.

One of the musicians also asked me in the middle of their concert if I work at some farm. (?) I said I do not, and he told me that someone that looks exactly like me does work there...

Tako-rice (kind of like Mexican tacos, with rice; not related to tako = octopus).

Food from Okinawa is considered a bit special (different from other Japanese food) in Japan, but it is not actually weird in any way. It uses a lot of "goya", a bitter tasting vegetable that is not used in other Japanese food, but that is about it. Pig's feet is considered weird by some, but it is eaten in other parts of Japan too, and we have it in Sweden too.

More tako-rice.

The fact that Mexican tacos without bread (served with rice instead) and adapted for the Japanese palate is considered food from Okinawa is perhaps a bit weird. Or at least unexpected.

Pizza with Okinawan sausage.

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