Long story short, wabi-sabi is a Japanese art term that means appreciating the beauty of imperfection.
Episode 56: Wabi-Sabi Crepe
“Honoka, why would you go that far……”
“Come on~. If you know a spell, you want to try using it once. Don’t ya think?”
“I, understand….. I am ready to try……a spell I just learned right away…….”
Yuzuriha was following close behind Honoka. Sure, I can understand being curious about these things. But…..
“And as a result, I had to eat that spicy……”
“Yeah hahaha! Thanks for that—. It would’ve been a shame to leave any of that delicious ramen behind!”
“Please have a meaningful discussion with your stomach and use a little more shame in the future.”
“Ehehe— If I’m ever having a hard time, I know I can always ask Yuu for help.”
“It’s fine, it’s fine—! The next time around I won’t get it so spicy!”
“That’s not the problem here”
She’s making jokes, but judging by her tone, is she actually reflecting on this? She’s probably worried that a more serious apology would make things awkward between us. I’ve started to become able to guess what she is thinking lately.
At that time, Yuzuriha grabbed my hand and looked off towards the day after tomorrow.
“Honoka failed to beat it……but Yuriha swooped in at the last moment and slew the crimson devil hidden within the magma ramen……so cool……”
I imagined my red and sweaty face as I slurp up ramen, and I found it hard to describe the picture as ‘cool’. If anything, wouldn’t it look like I was taking part in some kind of punishment game? I really showed her something unsightly.
If it’s for a beautiful girl――I can put up with it. My lips are slightly reddish and there’s a tingling lingering in my mouth. This kind of spiciness can’t be banished with just a cup of water or two. This is why I hate spicy food.
Anyways, we needed to head to the station, so we finally started on our way away from downtown and back to the main road. I’m still being made to carry a lot of luggage with me, but it looks like I’m just physically fit enough to manage.
While we were walking, Honoka had to check out any new ramen place we passed by that she didn’t recognize and Yuzuriha kept getting drawn in by advertisements for different movies that were coming out soon, so I had to make frequent stops until they were finished and came wandering back. I always figured our walk wouldn’t go smoothly, so this was all part of my expectations.
And when we finally just got out of sight from the city’s shops, Honoka jumped and pointed ahead of us.
“Hey hey—! Let’s have some crepes!”
The place she was pointing to was a store famous for its crepes and ice cream. At that very moment there were a couple of girls who I assumed were in high school leaving the register with crepes in hand.
“Honoka…..you’re not still hungry are you?”
“It’s fine don’t worry about it—! Dessert has its own special place in the stomach! And ice cream would melt.”
“And it won’t melt if it’s in a crepe?”
“Wha—t are you talking about—? It’ll melt in your tummy!”
I feel like we’re having two different conversations here.
“They have various flavors.”
“You can mix and match flavors with the ice cream though— That’d be impossible for a crepe to do.”
“Hmm, I’d still prefer a crepe over just ice cream right now though.”
“Oh yeah! Crepes it is then?”
Somehow all three of us came wanting to have dessert after that huge lunch.
Honoka jumped forward immediately afterwards, shouting out that she already knew what she wanted to order. It only took me a minute afterwards to decide on what flavor I would be getting.
“Any idea yet Yuzurin—?”
“No. Thinking…… You can go first…..”
“Hoho! Yuzurin’s the cautious type—”
“We’re in no hurry. It’s fine for you to take your time.”
Yuzuriha nodded once. Her eyes were seriously focused on the crepes through the window……her mouth was slightly agape…..is she about to start drooling?
“Which one are you getting Yuu—?”
“I was thinking this one might be nice.”
I pointed towards a refreshing green parfait.
“Ohh! You picked a good one! That green looks really tasty!”
“I really like Japanese style sweets. Then again, two of my favorite flavors are melon and muscat, so maybe it’s just the green.”
“Right— How Yuriha-like”
I think my color has been decided upon from now on. Green huh? Not exactly a leader’s color.
The store clerk welcomed us alongside the bell as we pushed open the door.
I tried giving my order, but Honoka interrupted me with a wag of her finger and a shake of her head.
“A number 2 and number 3 crepe please—”
“Coming right up,” the clerk responded. And then Honoka gave me a mischievous grin. Cute.
“Because of how long the names are, you’re supposed to order by the number in this place.”
“Ah. It’s my first time here, so I didn’t know.”
“Ufufu. Which means twice in one day, I’m, taking, Yuu’s, first…….”
“I already told you to stop talking like that.”
I karate chopped the top of Honoka’s head, but that only made her giggle more. This has already become standard practice. There’s a sex joke there somewhere…….don’t look at me like that. Unlike Honoka, I’m not going to say it out loud.
Yuzuriha decided on her own order a minute later. Honoka’s was finished first with mine coming out shortly afterwards. As soon as she had it in had, Honoka dug right in.
“Banana crepes really are the best—”
“That’s your favorite? I’m a little surprised to hear you say that about bananas of all things.”
“Hmm? I love strawberries and chocolate too—”
“Oh, so you have a couple flavors you love.”
“Everything is the best!”
Doesn’t that go against the very concept of ‘best’…….? It’s probably just something along the lines of her having difficulty ranking things. It’s a bad habit of mine to pick away at the little details. Gotta be careful. If I’m too mindful about this stuff, I’ll end up hated.
Meanwhile, my crepe was a splendiferous Japanese-style crepe with matcha dough, green tea ice cream, and mochi flour covered adzuki beans mixed with anmitsu.
I wanted to wait for Yuzuriha to have hers before I started eating, but since the ice cream was going to melt soon from the heat of my hands, I started chowing down as well.
“Mmm, it’s delicious.”
Honoka energetically raised her hand at that. I saw what was coming from a mile away.
“Hey hey—! Let me have a bite—”
That’s why I was already moving my hand over to her before she could even finish what she was saying. One day and it has already become customary for us to feed each other when the meal starts…….that’s a big bite she just took though……that has to be at least five bites worth in one mouthful…….
“Hmhmm……. This matcha, has a strong matcha feel to it.”
“You know— That authentic bitterness……Wa, Bi, Sa, Bi”
“Wabi-sabi has nothing to do with this.”
“But I thought wabi-sabi has that strong taste to it—?”
“You mean wasabi right?”
They’re spelled similarly, and they’re both part of Japanese culture. And wasabi is spicy.
“Do you like these kind of wabi-sabi crepes Yuu—?”
“I just said wabi-sabi isn’t……putting that aside. Hmm, it has a surprisingly modest sweetness to it along with a small bitter kick, so I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite.”
“Hoho— Do you hate normal matcha?”
“Yeah. I much prefer sweet matcha.”
“*Gasp!* You mean you’re not really Japanese—!?”
“How did you come to that conclusion!?”
Saying that she slapped my cheek as if that would purify my crepe……jokingly of course. It’s regrettable she didn’t bungle it like Yuzurin would’ve. What’s so regrettable about that? That’s kind of personal don’t you think?
“Japanese wabi-sabi, that which best exemplifies noble harmony and a consciousness over the Japanese identity.”
“No, I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Honoka put her hands together like a statue of the Buddha, and I could just make out a shimmering halo over her head. She’s an air-headed child, but from time to time, she’ll randomly bring out a bunch of big words. It throws me off every time.
Yuzurin’s crepe finally came at that point. However, could you really call what she had in her hand a crepe anymore……?
“W-Woah. It’s not going to spill is it?”
“Yuzurin— I’ve always dreamed of ordering triple scoops of ice cream—”
“Let’s move over to that bench, so keep it steady until then!”
Honoka took a munch out of the top of the teetering tower of ice cream while simultaneously calling for us to make sure it didn’t fall over. I was doing my best to help guide Yuzurin so she could take a seat and at long last begin enjoying her own dessert. My heart was pounding the entire time until we finally sat down on the bench by the street.
Haa, these energetic children.