Sometimes we really don't realize how much people influence who we are unless we stop to think about it. Sometimes that influence isn't even immediately apparent. I've been reflecting on this a bit recently.
I remember when I was a kid, my dad used to watch a lot of old cowboy movies. He really liked John Wayne, in particular. I wasn't such a huge fan at the time. In the past couple years that's changed, though, and I've gained a new appreciation for Westerns. I can't help but think of my dad.
Another recent "pick-up" of mine was something I guess I got from Yoshie. When we were dating, her drink of choice was nihonshu (日本酒; traditionally known as "sake" to most foreigners). A bit before we broke up, she switched to whiskey (perhaps that was an ominous portend!), but for most of our time together I took a mild interest in acquiring a taste for her preferred poison. I remember stocking a bottle in my apartment, and it took me months to go through it. These days, though, the stuff has grown on me and I like to have a bottle on hand that I can slowly whittle away at.
As you might guess, it's hard to find a lot of different kinds of the stuff here, but there's very large beverage and liquor store nearby called Total Wine, and it stocks a few different kinds of nihonshu. A small number of them are imported from Japan; most of them are made in the U.S.
The other day I picked up a brand I hadn't tried before - Fu-ki Sake (富貴). 富貴 means wealth and high status, incidentally. I believe this brand is from Hokkaido.
I've been going through Total Wine's stock slowly, trying out each kind. There's an American brand called Mura Mura, which infuses its sake. It's definitely not bad, though it might not appeal to purists.
Kind of makes me wonder about how I've influenced others and if any of my interests or likes have rubbed off onto them.