The summer when I am three, I stay at my grandmother’s house in the countryside for a month away from home.
My grandmother loves sparkling juice. Her favourite is the brand called Mitsuya Cider, (despite the name, it is a non-alcoholic drink) and it comes in a thin, tall can with a shiny green lettering. During the day, once the summer heat kicks in, she asks me,
“Do you want a sparking juice?”
I do not know what a sparkling juice is. But when I answer yes, she walks down the corridor to the second fridge of the house. In front of my eager eyes, she pulls out the bottom drawer, a great portion of which is filled with cans of her favourite Mitsuya Cider.
“Wow,” I cannot hide my amazement. I have never seen so many juice cans in a single sight before. “You have so many, grandma!”
She picks out two cans from the drawer, then we both head back to the kitchen, where she takes out two glasses, one for me and one for herself. Back home, my mother would not have trusted me with an entire juice can, but my grandmother is different.
She opens my juice can and pours some in my glass. “Have some, it’s cold and delicious.”
I observe the tiny bubbles shooting up from the bottom of my glass and listen to the fizzling sound of the transparent juice. I then take my first sip. The moment the sweet sparkling juice touches my tongue, I cannot help closing my eyes. What a sensation!
“I love it!”
From that day on, this becomes our daily ritual. When we sit down together for a breaktime or a meal, my grandmother asks me,
“Do you want a sparkling juice?”
And we both help ourselves to the cold, refreshing treat of Mitsuya Cider.