Friday, June 8, 2007
Taste of Japan !
The alarm went off and his hands involuntarily reached out in the direction of the shrill piercing beeps! These were not enough to motivate him out of bed , for he was weary after the load of work he had to tackle in his new work environment. He had recently come to Hiroshima , and hoped to bring his wife along in a month's time. Again the alarm dutifully beeped . It wasn't going to let him sleep. He finally dragged himself out of bed and suddenly realized that he had no time to waste. After getting himself ready he halted near his fruit basket for collecting his lunch . He always had a soft corner for the fresh and juicy fruits , and he was glad that he had an ample supply , here in Japan . Suddenly , he remembered that today he was invited for lunch into a sushi -ya . He wondered what that meant , but didn't want to offend or hurt the feelings of his Japanese colleagues .
He was always fascinated and intrigued by the traditions Japanese upheld . He was experiencing it even in his working environment . They always took a very long time in decision making , but once the decision was taken they always stuck to it. But today he was also going to taste Japanese food . He secretly longed for the ethnic Indian cuisine , roasted crisp dosas , idlis and the aroma of freshly prepared sambar haunted him . He always enjoyed reading his newspaper with the strong filter coffee accompanied by the subtle aromas from kitchen . He could easily make out the breakfast menu , just by taking a few deep breaths...It would be the right time to do pranayama! .
Now he was freaking out on fruits . But today being a Japanese treat he waved sayonara to his all time saviors and hurried to his office . At lunch time their team gathered in a sushi ya or a restaurant where especially sushi is served . Sushi is a traditional Japanese delicacy . Once you had agreed to participate and taste the Japanese food there was no going back .... The sushi they would be serving him today would be made out of raw fish, sea weed and rice. He had tasted Kerala fish curry once, when he visited his friends place , as he belonged to a family of vegetarians . Eating raw fish would be adventurous . He was not sure whether he was ready to take up the challenge but he was hooked .
He saw the strange appetizers being served on a conveyor belt . He politely took the Sushi which was meant for him . He was also served the "wasabe" sauce. He was told to dip the sushi in the sauce and eat it at a stretch ! He just did as he was told and saw the eager faces staring at him curiously . He put the whole piece in his mouth and found that the sauce was the most pungent thing he had ever tasted in his life . It was so strong that he could feel the pungent vapors spreading all over him. How was he supposed to eat it now . He had to keep a brave face and whatever was in his mouth should find a medium to pass through his gut ! His eyes caught a tap that was serving sake(rice wine )...With the Japanese delicacy still in his mouth he poured the sake into his glass and flushed it into his mouth....He was relieved , for he had managed the situation !
He saw his colleagues and saw their triumphant faces beaming with joy for having served him the best food ever . They were eager to serve him more , and just before they were about to help him with his second serving he grabbed a plate from the conveyor belt which was now displaying desserts!
This was how my dear husband PP , experienced the first taste of Japan.
I would like to share with you a humorous video which will give you a clearer idea on Japanese food etiquettes and traditions! Enjoy watching!