You arrive, sit down, and the adventure begins. You’re so absorbed in the moment that you’re oblivious to anyone around you.
A hot, cast iron, bowl-like mortar arrives filled with flaxseed, sesame seeds, and different types of peppercorn.
You don’t realize it but you are doing exactly the same thing as the Japanese man across the room, grinding away with the pestle and mortar, in unison. You come from completely different cultures, separated by thousands of miles, interminable stopovers, and different customs.
Yet, as you pound away together making soup, you exchange a smile or glance, and the differences fall away. Sharing such moments, however fleeting, is a rare luxury in today’s world.
Finally, along comes the broth, which has been waiting in pipettes since you arrived, and is poured ceremoniously over the collectively ground seed. Let us eat soup….