It’s hard to believe that I’ve been here in Morocco for four months, but it’s even harder to believe that you haven’t been here with me. This is the first time that you and Kayla have not accompanied me on a significant trip. When I miss you, I think back to all our other adventures: clutching a cup of Timmy’s hot chocolate while blazing our way through the icy Montréal wind; exploring the vast Jasper Mountains by horseback; walking through the thick mist of Niagara Falls; cracking freshly cooked lobsters on the beaches of Shediac. Thinking back to all of these adventures makes me wish you were here even more.
One of the things that I’ve missed most while going new places without you is sushi. I’m disappointed that you can’t make it out to Tangier, and that we can’t continue our tradition of trying sushi in whatever new place we’re in, but I understand that work is an obligation. So I decided to carry on and try sushi here.
On Sunday—with a recommendation from UNE’s area coordinator, Doua—Aidan, Ashley, Hannah, and I went to one of the few sushi restaurants in Tangier for lunch. Otori Sushi was set off the busy roads of town. Soft music played inside, and if you had dropped a loonie on the hardwood floor, it would have been heard on the other side of the room; we were the only customers. The modern dining room contained mahogany tables and chairs that were lined with purple velvet. It was so clean and chic I forgot I was in Morocco—until I went to the washroom to wash my hands. The sink inside sputtered with great effort—a characteristic of Tangier’s sometimes unreliable plumbing.
The menu included a salmon cream-cheese roll, which reminded me of the first time we tried this type of roll, at Sense of Tokyo in Saint John (I think they called it a Philadelphia roll there). I remember taking shelter in that restaurant from the bitter winter, sipping our steaming hot bowls of miso soup while reading the menu. We both spotted the Philadelphia roll because it looked unique, yet we both questioned the combination of salmon and cheese. Once we tried it, however, we fell in love with the complementary tastes of the creamy mild cheese and the tender smoky salmon. I contemplated ordering Otori Sushi’s version, but decided to hold off because the only cream cheese I have seen in Morocco is the Laughing Cow triangles.
I ordered my usual—something with salmon—but instead of cream cheese as an accompaniment, I opted for smooth thick avocado. For my second roll I decided to try something new, as you always do. I was worried about getting food poisoning, so I stuck with something that sounded safe: a crab and avocado roll.
When our sushi was finally brought out, I was taken aback. I didn’t realize that my “safe choice” would be topped with tobiko, which is flying fish roe. Instead of scraping it off like I usually would, I decided to try it. The best part? I liked it—you would have been so proud. The sushi itself was impeccably made; there was ginger and wasabi—although the wasabi was not as strong as I would have liked—and the fish tasted fresh. It wasn’t the best sushi I have ever had, but it was definitely not the worst. I don’t really know why I had been so skeptical; after all, we’re right next to the ocean.
I walked away satisfied with the sushi, and satisfied with continuing our tradition of trying sushi in new places—even though this time it was just me. Despite enjoying my meal, I think I am going to wait until we are reunited to eat more sushi, because it is 100 times more special with you.
There are only a few weeks left Daddio, and I can’t wait.
Miss and love you lots, Lyss