Sea Urchin and the Little Boy

Have you ever tried Uni at a sushi restaurant before?
If the answer is YES, I think you are a brave person!
Uni was not quite appetizing  for me.
My family had a sushi restaurant  in Japan, Uni was in our fridge all the time.
When I was kid, I was thought that Uni was the tongue of the fish.
So I was never tempted to try one…
Until I met this boy… and I was going to regret why I did not try Uni for such a long time! 
In the early 90’s my friends and I went on a camping trip in Aomori prefecture .
It is on the north end of the main island .  
It was a 15 hour drive from our area, 
but everybody was so excited to see the beautiful ocean. 
The Camping trip was great! 
Our campsite was just by the beach.
Local people were very kind to us and we were having such a good time!  
My friends enjoyed snorkling everyday.
I would not go into the ocean because I was stung by a jelly fish many years ago.
I spent my time going for walks and collecting sea shells. 
Then in the middle of nowhere, this kid started following me around.
He was not shy to ask me a bunch of the questions.
Where I came from ? Which language my  friends are speaking?
This kid was so curious about us! 
Suddenly he ran into the ocean and picked up the black spiked creature!
And he told me that this is the Uni! I had never seen Uni in their shell before!
Then he grabbed a rock and crushed the Uni shell and pulled out what was inside.
Then he washed it with the ocean waves and threw it into his mouth!
 I was so amazed I just stared at him.

Then he found another one and did the same thing.
This time he put the Uni in front of me and said 
 “ this is for you! ”
I didn’t want to be rude by saying no thank you, so I tried Uni for the first time.
I was so scared at first, and I had a little bit of panic…
but the Uni I just tried was so good!     
It was the most creamiest thing I have ever had!
It is hard to describe!
Some people say Uni tastes like butter with the flavour of the ocean! 
Later I found out that the market at our campsite was selling baskets of Uni.
So I bought some Uni for my friends to try.
I  clean the Uni  just like he did.
My friends were so surprised that I prepared Uni like pro.
There was no hesitation for them to try fresh  Uni!
They love it very much !
If I did not meet this boy …  I would have never tried Uni till this day. 
The camping trip was unforgettable for us!
We were invited to the Bon festival and danced with the locals.
We saw Noctiluca and Spectacle milky way above of the night ocean !
It was close to 30 years ago.
I still keep in touch with my friends and still we talk about our Aomori camping trip!
One day I would like to go back there and reunite with those people that I met at the beach!
Especially with the little boy!
He must be over 30 years old now… I hope he became a great fisherman.