Nawruz is celebrated by Baha’is around the world from sunset on March 20 to sunset on March 21. It marks the beginning of a new year in the Baha’i Era. In a couple of hours, I will join friends in my community in breaking the fast for the last time this year, and celebrating the start of 170 BE (Baha’i Era).
I think that this is an interesting project. I see the creative value, and it is a different approach to journaling your life.
“Ultimate simplicity leads to purity”. This is the most memorable quotation from Jiro Dreams of Sushi, in my opinion.
When I think of food, it is true that you can best appreciate the richness of texture and flavor of a food when it is prepared simply.
I was talking to a friend in Tokyo about my plans to visit Tsukiji, when he mentioned that I should first watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi. I was spending the night in a hotel room, and opted for an early (Friday) night but got to watch the movie when I returned to Nagoya last night. For some reason, the rows upon rows of concreted tuna looks macabre in a way the they did not up close. Up close, they looked frozen but in the movie, they seemed to be looking right at me.
To visit Tsukiji, I woke up at 4 am. When I got the wake up call, I was tempted to give it a miss, but I figured ganbatte and got out if bed. I was number 61 at the Fukyu Osakana Center when I got there at 4:32 a.m. I was hoping to be in the early tour at 5:25 but I was one person too late, so I had to wait for the late tour at 5:50 a.m. Only 120 total participants are allowed in the two tours. Thankfully, we were corralled into two holding spaces where we were grouped by vest color. I wore a blue vest (but I have no proof of this because I was barely awake and horrified at the thought of capturing my barely awakeness on SD).
Promptly at 5:50 a.m., blue vest group was lead to the tuna auction house. What a sight! Rows upon rows of tuna on both sides of our little viewing area, which is delineated by ropes.
As bells began to clang, the excitement built and the auctioning started. It moved fairly quickly and the signals are so subtle that I never knew who was betting. There appeared to be boxes of sliced tuna as well as whole fish. After an auction winds down, there is a short period of calm before another one starts, focusing on another row of tuna. In between auctions, you can watch the men meticulously examining the tuna with flashlights and picks.
I wasn’t sure the trip to Tsukiji would be worth it. I thought it might be one of those things where people exaggerate the experience. I was proven wrong. I had never seen such an energetic exercise with such fine attention to detail. As I watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi, I could make the connection between the art and perfectionist of top sushi chefs and that of their suppliers. There is focus on relationships, and such pride in and appreciation for excellent quality.
I think that Jiro Dreams of Sushi demonstrates some of the things about Japanese society that makes it challenging: perfectionism, impatience, family pressure, the shame of failure. There’s passion and dedication and love of one’s job too, as well as attention to detail and pride in doing excellent work. I appreciate this about Japan. Yet I wonder, what suffers as a result of perfectionism? When you choose perfectionism in one thing, what do you knowingly or inadvertently give up as a consequence? And when you have a gift or a “talent”, do you have a responsibility to fulfil that potential?
I highly recommend watching Jiro Dreams of Sushi and if you happen to be in the Tokyo are on day when Tsukiji is open, visit it:
I was in Hawaii for a week recently. It was wonderful to see palm trees and smell the ocean. I got a chance to walk up Diamond Head Crater. On the walk back to Waikiki Beach, I stopped at Diamond Head Grill and shared an outdoor table with a fellow Canadian who is now a resident of Canada. We shared conversation over lunch and she drove me to my hotel.
Highlights of my trip:
- Watching the sunrise from Waikiki Beach
- Eating coconut macaroon ice-cream while watching the sunset from Waikiki Beach
- Visiting Shangri La
- The Tattoo exhibition at Honolulu Museum of Art
- Learning the meaning of full body polynesian tattoos at the Hale Koa luau
Enjoy the gallery!
Today marks the anniversary of the Martyrdom of The Bab. I was fortunate again this year, for the third year, to commemorate it with the Bahá’í community in the Kanata area.
“Not until I have said to him all those things that I wish to say can any earthly power silence Me. Though all the world be armed against Me, yet shall they be powerless to deter Me from fulfilling, to the last word, My intention.” – The Bab
Source: Planet Baha’i
Try the illusion below by following the steps:
- Open the image and resize so that you can see all of it.
- Stare at the red dot on the image unblinkingly for at least 30 seconds.
- Look away from the image onto a blank wall/ceiling.
- Blink repeatedly.
What did you see? Please leave a comment .
Nine years ago, I moved overseas. It was my first time living alone, the first time being more than an hour from family for more than a few days. Being an introvert by nature, with a tendency towards shyness, leaving alone was no hardship. All my life, I’ve had a few close friends, people who I trust and who trust me. As I’ve lived in each place, I’ve met lots of people. Some I’ve considered friends, and others family. Now I have family of my heart around the world: in India, China, Israel, Nepal, Mauritania, Uzbekistan, St. Lucia, Canada, Japan, Mozambique, Sudan, etc.
Last week, I made a TED Talks style presentation to my students about what matters. I talked about the importance of real connections, and the challenges of building them. I talked of choice, purpose and effort, dedication, caring and commitment and how all of those come into effect when the world is your “home” and your “family” is spread out. I showed screenshots of conversations in Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, iMessage, Skype and expressed the challenges of maintaining meaningful relationships despite long distances.
All the world continues to flatten, and as more and more of us develop a third culture, building real relationships that transcend time and distance is of even greater importance, yet more challenging. When I talk of real relationships, I mean those that stir the heart, engage the mind, affect your life. How do you do it?
The lady at the hotel told me that there are no hammams in the medina. Being the skeptical cynic that I am, I decided to meander through the medina past where the women only hammam is supposed to be. First, I mapped the route on my iPhone and took screenshots of each of the steps. I tried to keep as much of the surrounding streets as possible in the screenshot knowing my propensity for getting lost!! At some point, I went past the hammam that I’d read was for men only and it was open. That gave me hope. I continued on. Out of 7 steps, I could only follow the first three. However using the maps and ignoring my poor directional intuition, I finally found Rue des Juges (more or less by accident and persistence).
The hammam was obvious because of the bright colors used for the doorway. I asked two men on the street if it was for women and they said yes. I entered. The presence of women confirmed that I’d found the correct place. I paid about 620 dinar for scrubbing, hair washing, and a new scrubbing mitt and was told to bring my things back to the lady, who I’d paid, for safekeeping. When ready, I was lead into the sauna and given my supplies. I scrubbed myself and then was bright to a marble top where I was scrubbed some more and my hair was quickly washed. Out of my three hammam experiences, the other two having been in Istanbul and Petra, this was the least vigorous!!