Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Never mind which knife - which bowl?

So, you have met this incredible Japanese maiden. Not a one night stand.Not a bath-house babe. Just a very nice girl. Two or thre dates in she says "You wanna come meet my Mum Dad?" If the relationship is to continue, there can only be the one answer.

So, in best bib and tucker, you turn up at what is quite an impressive house. This girl is looking more attractive by the minute. She has told you that her parents are Old Japan so you have revised the courtesies and a few phrases in Japanese. All seems well. Then, a meal is suggested. The door rolls back and the dining room is revealed. It is an on the floor job but they have provided a low table for you to save the cramp that comes five minutes after the Japanese-kneel posture.

Then you see the meal!

So, where to start? Japanese food comes in extremes - very hot and spicy, very salted, very many things and all without any real indication of the traps set for Western palates. Luckily, Japanese Miss knows her Old Japan etiquette and selects something and offers it to you. The next trial is the sake. This, like modern-day vodka comes in many flavours. The one thing in common is that all are 200% proof alcohol. Put it in your Zippo if the lighter fuel is missing. They can down large quantities; the merest sip does for most of us.

I think I upheld the flag for the New World. I was invited back a time or two but fate intervened and I was posted to Korea. Local girls who could be described as 'nice' there were few and far between but at least they ate American food!

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