My grandfather’s letter from his mother while attending Concordia College in Minnesota. I can’t read it, it’s in German. He died when I when I was very young and all I really remember is his love of exotic stinky foreign cheeses. They smelled like poo. We’d take a sniff and run away screaming. Now I like stinky cheeses very much, yet I still haven’t warmed up to natto. I think it’s because natto is beans. Fermented beans are less exciting and rich than fermented milk, and cheeses are eaten with nice breads and crackers and fruit rather than with rice, although I know some people do eat natto with bread. It’s different, it just is. When asked by Japanese persons if I like natto, I used to be honest and say I didn’t, but now I lie and say I do. I find that if I say I don’t, this confirms the stereotype that foreigners can’t eat natto, and if I say I do, nobody believes me because foreigners can’t eat natto. So it doesn’t matter. In a gross-out smell battle between stinky cheese and natto, natto is the lightweight, let’s natto fool ourselves here.