Rice and Crab Meat Onigiri

Brand: Kiwami

Cost: 276 yen

Found at: Lawson (I think)

I keep pretending that I am a hard, rugged, outdoors girl. It’s become a burdensome chip on my shoulder that I can’t quite shake – whenever someone complains about city life or work expectations, I roll my eyes and remember the time I had it harder. The heat of the summer is never as the Badia in July, the unheated houses are never as cold as the hike through the Canyonlands, the food is never as bad, the work is never as hard, the frustration is never as valid. It’s not a generous line of thought, and if I’m being honest – it’s not really true anymore. I may have been an outdoor girl but now I am a city woman. In the past 5 years, I’ve spent the majority of my time in cities if 1-6 million people. Cities where the residents cram into subways and flow out in a great human river that goes on and on and on. I’m not the teenager on the crab fishing boat in Alaska – I am the woman buying crab from the convenience store. But my mind has not quite caught up with my body, and as I looked down at the gold packaging, I was swept away in memories of cold, wet weather and grumpy looking crabs huddling in their pots.

And I must say, this crab is not so different from the crab we cooked up at the boat captain’s house. I had expected thus crab to be fishier or gamier or somehow of inferior quality, but actually, it was just, normal, fresh crab meat – topped with mayonnaise and wrapped in a ball of rice. I’ve come to expect good quality of the Japanese rice balls (onigiri) sold at convenience stores (which I eat frequently and with gusto) but this one caught me off guard. It was a little moment of nostalgia in my hectic life – a moment where the city fell away and I was back among the tall old trees and choppy grey waves. And it was a moment of clarity – that I am a long way from the girl that I was. Not better, not worse, but definitely not the rugged adventurer I imagine myself to be. And if that can make me more compassionate, well then it is too long in coming.

It’s amazing the realizations you can have from paying an extra few yen for the fancy onigiri.

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