A picture I took in 2007 at a birthday party at Maki Maki in Mississauga, ON


The Scintilla Project Day Thirteen

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Last updated on February 12th, 2024 at 12:12 am

1. Post a photo of yourself from before age 10. Write about what you remember of the day the photo was taken. It may not be a full story—it may just be flashes of event and emotion—but tap into the child you were as much as you can.

2. The saying goes What you don’t know won’t hurt you, but sometimes the opposite is true. Talk about a time when you were hurt by something you didn’t know.

— The Scintilla Project’s Day 13 prompts

I wasn’t always as adventurous as I am today. I grew up a pretty sheltered child, nose in the books, a close-knit group of friends around me, and never doing much that would upset my parents. My diet regularly consisted of chicken, Kraft dinner, and other items that you could find in a generic North American diet.

That is—until I started going to school in downtown Toronto.

A whole new world filled with new experiences, new friends—it was an entirely new chapter of my life where my parents trusted me to navigate it and come out intact.

One of my earliest memories from those days was the first time I ever tried wasabi.

My First Experience with Wasabi. One I’ll Never Forget.

I remember being out at a sushi restaurant for the first time, and my Asian friends were explaining how it all worked and what many of the ingredients were.

When the food came out, I pointed to the green blob and asked what it was. One friend told me “it’s a candy they give you to cleanse your palate for the sushi—you should try it out!”

And so, popping the entire wad of wasabi into my mouth, I started to suck and chew on it for all of a moment—until I realized that my friends were a bunch of dirty little liars.

It was like flavour exploding in my mouth—in the worst way possible. My eyes started to water, my nose started to burn, I was gasping for relief, and all of my new friends were splitting their sides with laughter. This was not a good start for my studies downtown!

I know what wasabi is now, but I’m still not a heavy user—soy sauce on its own is usually plenty for me!

What you don’t know won’t hurt you and ignorance is bliss. We want to think it’s true, but it’s faulty thinking. Knowledge is power, and the more informed you are, the more opportunities you have available to you.

Getting to know wasabi shockingly might not have been ideal, but knowing the options available to you at any time is always better than going into a situation cold and wondering what’s on the menu.

Think about it.

The second logo for Casey Palmer, Canadian Dad


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