Don’t worry, this is not a sad story.
Those little old ladies did it again: my third sashiko class left me with a completed project (finally!), a handful of snacks, and a full heart.
I need to keep up with my sashiko classes perhaps only to continue seeing my new old lady friends. You may remember my first class — a whirlwind of mysterious chit-chat where I picked up my teacup pattern and learned through miming. Conducted entirely in Japanese, my guess is I picked up about 3% of what was said. My second class was an equal amount of confusion, but with a few more parts warm & fuzzy. I may have upped my comprehension level to, let’s say 5%. For class #3, I was up to a solid 14%. And that’s after you calculate out the show-and-tell oohs-and-ahs and the many giggles.
Part of my success was due to the fact I was with a new group of ladies, so the usual niceties, “My name is Angie” and “I’m American” were easy home runs. Then one woman asked if I was a high school student. Understandable, considering I have no idea if they were 60 or 90. When I told them “I’m a housewife,” out came a fresh round of giggles. After class, they sent me on my way with a few handfuls of rice crackers and a bounty of bows. It was a lovely time.
I’ve decided I need to continue going to these classes so that I can get to know some other women and try to socialize in Japanese. Otherwise, my only interaction with other shufu 主婦 is at the grocery store, where I get elbowed and banged into and harassed about whether I want chopsticks with my bento lunch. I need help to remember they are just as shy as I am, and just as curious about my sunglasses and camouflage hipster hat as I am about the tiny dogs in their purses.
Finally, I need to talk about this amazing pastry. I admit I had no idea what I was buying, and picked it because I wanted something impressive for my little show-off photo shoot. I went to my favorite neighborhood pastry shop, pointage, knowing they wouldn’t let me down. And wow, was this one good. There was a chestnut in there, and a fig steeped in Earl Grey, and some cheesey custard, and lots of buttery flakes. I don’t claim to be a know-it-all about pastries, but I do eat a lot of them. And this one wins. Thanks, pointage. Is it a blessing or a curse that this place is a 5 minute walk from my apartment? I can’t decide.
Psst… Hey you, visiting Tokyo? Check out pointage boulangerie in Azabu juban. Here is a map. Just don’t make it crowded so I can’t get my sweet chestnut buns.
Also, interested in the sashiko class? They’re held monthly at Blue & White, 2-9-2 Azabu juban, Minato-ku, tel. 03 3451 0537. Come join me!