nagasaki stray.

 The food aspect of this blog has fallen off somewhat in recent weeks - so has the 'blogging' aspect too, actually, but I suppose it's an occupational hazard of moving to the other side of the world (if you're waiting for an email from me, by the way, I'll get there eventually) - but it's something I've been thinking about. Not just because I like to think about food (although I do), but because for the last four weeks, I haven't been vegan.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I went vegan originally because I wasn't happy with the dairy industry and didn't want to support that; I believe in personal responsibility, and I would have felt like a hypocrite if I hadn't acted on what I thought, you know? But that is intensely personal, and I knew I was privileged to have that option, and be able to act upon it and have alternatives available and so on. I'm not gonna go around preaching that everyone should be vegan, cause some people have bigger fish to fry (um, literally?), and I'm pretty resigned to the fact that nearly everything I use capital letters over (feminism! LGBT equality! Harry Potter!) are things that most people don't think too much about. But I've also talked about my personal priorities in the past - that I don't mind eating honey, for instance (I just can't get too upset about bees), or theoretically buying free-range eggs (I say 'theoretically' as I haven't bought or eaten eggs for about a year. But if I were to, I would buy free-range, fancy ones, and this is why). But vegan has felt the most appropriate label for me.

So what's changed? I kind of want to moan, 'it's HARD in Japan!', but I'm sort of opposed to that as an answer. The kanji for 'soy' was one of the first I looked up when I got here, so tracking down soy milk, while trickier than in England, is not impossible. I even found peanut butter in an international food store! (I bought three jars. It had been two weeks since my last fix, and I was getting desperate). There isn't much cheese here - although there's no houmous either, which immediately knocks out one of my major food groups (oh! and how I miss flax eggs!~) - and although almost everything has seafood or fish stock in it, if I were to buy no preprackaged food at all and cook entirely from scratch, I could totally do it.

But the real reason is - and I feel like a bit of a bitch, but this is the truth - that I don't want to do it. I'm in Japan; and although I've never missed dairy, I do kind of love seafood. So yes, I do want to eat kaitenzushi and grilled eel and tuna sashimi. I do want to try all the Japanese snacks in their cute packaging, without decoding said packaging for hours with an internet translating tool. If someone invites me out for tonkatsu, or a karaoke place offers unlimited ice cream as part of the price, or teachers bring omiyage of biscuits and sweets into school - I want to say yes. Being vegan or vegetarian at home has never stopped me doing anything, but here, I think it might. So, selfish as it may be, for now at least I'm gonna put myself first.

But. This does leave me with the question of blogging, and the fact that every recipe on papillon so far is vegan. I know some of you are, I know some of you aren't - so I want your honest opinions; should I post only vegan recipes to this blog? (In all honesty, all my cooking - and the little baking I've done - at home is still vegan for preference; it's only socially that I'm newly omnivorous). If you're vegan, would seafood/dairy content turn you off? And how many times can I say the word vegan in one post? Jeez.

In other news:
  • the aforementioned kaitzensushi (conveyor belt sushi). HOLY CRAP YUM. This was so freaking cheap, too! Mostly because I got mine bought for me as I won a bet; but still!
  •  stray cats in Nagasaki; they're like the adorable version of pigeons.
  •  on the way to Becki's flat at about 5.30am, after some seriously dedicated karaoke. My rendition of 'Popular' from Wicked went down a storm! - I think?


  1. Hello Hello and Greetings from Costa Rica Elizabeth!

    I am literally on the other side of the Pacific from you so can you hear me shouting from Costa Rica?

    Personally my dear Anna Banana I would love to hear about all the delicious food you are eating along with recipes if you have time. I hope you are having fun.

    Anthony, a pupil here says: Hello!

    Would love to see any recipes of any kind.

    Philip Mushroom!

  2. I can totally see why you'd want to take a break from the vegan diet while you're in Japan. It's Japan!! That place is full of so many amazingly cool foods that it would be a shame to miss out on the whole experience. Plus, if you're going to be eating seafood, where better than an island nation? Super fresh!

    As far as vegan/non-vegan recipes go, I'm fine with either. I'm not a vegan myself, so when I made those delicious scones you posted a while ago I just used Greek yogurt, 2% milk, and unsalted butter instead of the soya milk and yogurt and vegan margarine. They were still super duper yummy, so I'm happy with whatever foodie delights you decide to post. :)

  3. I am vegan, but I think that your blog is YOUR blog and therefore you can post about whatever you want to. I've been wondering about some of the same issues recently, as I'm going to South East Asia next year and don't want my diet to overshadow everything. But I'll work all that out nearer the time!! I hope you're having a fabulous time :)

  4. i actually had almost the EXACT same experience when i went to italy to study abroad last year. i remember being served up freshly made mozzarella, as well as steak that four lovely grandmothers had cooked with such love and tenderness. in order to experience the culture fully i really had to immerse myself, and i think that was worth it. sometimes you just gotta live your life, and don't worry about what other people say! be in the moment and make sure every moment is the way you wanna live it!

    i'd love to see both your vegan AND non-vegan recipes!

    (i also could NOT find good peanut butter in italy haha)

  5. I'm vegan, but I don't care what you post since I feel exactly the same way as you do. I'll keep reading anyway!

  6. I'm loving your posts! As a non-vegan, I don't care what you post, as long as I can live vicariously through your wonderful adventures!

    When I lived in Japan, every day I would get some sort of adventure food...meaning a food that I didn't decode, would just get and try to eat. And sometimes it was awesome (candy-coated chocolate-covered gummi bear heads!) and sometimes it was dreadful (croquette with hot fish pudding inside!).

    But it was always an adventure!


© papillon.Maira Gall