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Slurping Away…

When we moved from Singapore to Tokyo, the city was in the throws of winter. The city was blanketed in its first measurable snow in quite some time.

Our family was not equipped for the seasons, having left behind our winter gear in the states. My long blonde hair sun kissed and skin about as tan as it will ever get… A stark contrast to our new home.

Tokyo’s winter was shock to me and my family. Although we new it would be there….

We used socks as gloves and had a little snowball fight outside our new apartment.  I’ll never forget that sock fueled snowball fight. My first memory of our new home. Our newly adopted country. Our second expatriate move.

A new culture for my childhood to explore, absorb and bond with.  The noodle shops quickly became our favorite stomping grounds.  How many bowls of ramen could my brother and I slurp away?  Who could slurp the loudest? And yes this is totally acceptable in Japan.  A noodle shop without slurping is a bad noodle shop… you don’t want to be eating it.

On home leave back to the states, mom had to remind us that slurping was not acceptable in the US.  Mind your American manners…

O how I miss those noodle shops, welcoming me in with their plastic bowls of food….. encouraging you to point and order. Those flavors, those sounds, the smells and the familiar feel of the shops are forever engrained in my mind. The one we went to every Saturday, where baby sister was so coddled by the owners. Treat after treat they would bring her, hold her as my parents ate.  We could only communicate in broken language of the other, but you were family here.

Lucky for me, a new ramen shop has opened in Minneapolis. One with hype around the block.

Within a couple weeks of the opening, we had to check it out.

Ramen Kazama.

I walked in with high expectations.  The way the menu is laid out brought back a familiar feeling. I knew this was going to be good.

We ordered the spicy pork and the chicken.

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The ramen broth here is some of the best. It touched a nerve, a feeling, a memory I haven’t had in a while.

This is the closet ramen to what I remember from Tokyo, that you can find in Minneapolis. You must go here.

When Minneapolis is in its throws of winter, there could be no better cure. It is truly delicious.

 

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Overheard…….

My days walking to work are over. (for now)

The crisp fall air in the morning has me seeking cover in my friendly city bus.

I now take the bus to work. Let me tell you, the first couple of times had me all up in arms. Who knew you actually had to pull the cord  hard enough, it has to make a sound…. Stop requested.

Ten blocks past my stop later, in the rain, I learned my lesson.

I’ve learned my afternoon bus is always late. By five or six minutes.

One time it never even showed up?

However, the stumbling blocks are over and I’m having a love affair with the bus.

Where else can I eavesdrop on my fellow commuter’s supper? Multiple days in a row I was privy to whether or not this guy is going to eat the squirrel in his freezer…. it has become a heated debate between himself and two female fellow riders….

I’ve yet to learn how the squirrel became a resident in his freezer ….. eagerly hoping this detail comes to light on the next ride.

I’m ready for any and all future overheard sessions… Bring on the morning, or afternoon, comedy.

All jokes aside, know where you should be taking the bus to? Kyatchi.  For Ramen Mondays. (no squirrel included)

$13 for ramen and a beer, I’m there!

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Have you been?

If not, lets go! I’ll take the bus 😉