I shall return! Or to to quote Bob Dylan, I’m bringing it all back home to Japan! I have had my fill of Anglo-paraphernalia, much Yorkshire Pudding and tea has been consumed. All in all it has been a good trip, but I am now ready to go back home to Japan. That is one thing I realised during my brief sojourn here, I certainly think of Japan as my home now. I look forward to returning to eat okonomiyaki and drink chu-hi, but I’ve brought the best of Britain back with me in the form of some fine tea and mustard.
Of course, I miss my parents, brother and nephews, and I miss aspects of British academic life, the opportunity to discuss philosophy in English was a welcome one as certain aspects of British academic discussions resist translation.
However, and it is a realisation I made with sadness, but I really don’t miss Britain as a country. I was thinking about this a few days ago as I ate some Bakewell Pudding, a favourite desert of mine. Bakewell Pudding is an English Pudding made with jam, egg and almond paste. It’s very tasty. But it’s also failure, the first cook to ‘make’ Bakewell Pudding, was trying to make a jam tart, but misread the instructions and spread the jam and almond paste on top of the pastry instead of mixing it. The result is a kind of egg custard pie with jam and almond paste, and is a much beloved English dish.
And yet I feel it is almost a perfect metaphor for British society. It is nice, more than quite palatable, but not what the chef intended.
However, I do hope Britain that I shall taste you again. Thanks for the teas, mustard and the memories.