Yakitori Column

vol 05The Head and All!!

So, here I am. Sitting at a table with many foreigners at a training seminar for teachers teaching at senior high schools. After having lived in Japan for 9 years now these seminars get boring and long.

One of the most interesting things is observing the “green teachers.” These are the teacher that have just arrived in Japan for the first time EVER. After 9 years you forget what it felt like but all you have to do is go out for lunch or dinner with them.

“Oh my God!! What IS that?” says one of them. I try to explain that the noodle dishes like “champon” or “Udon” are not like the doodle dishes back home. Especially the seafood ones. It brought me back to when I say a shrimp in my soup for the first time.

You might be thinking….”What’s so strange about shrimp in your soup?” Well, we foreigners never actually see the whole shimp. Of course we eat shrimp, crap, and fish back home in Canada but it’s never looking back at us.

The fish we buy at the local supermarkets back home are fillets of fish. We have no (or little to none) idea what kind of fish and have never seen the head still on it. I guess that to prevent people from really realizing what they are eating. I think it works!!

Until I saw the mouth moving on one of the fish I was just about to eat I don’t think I really realized that this creature was alive shortly before I sink my teeth into it. We foreigners have gotten used to eating meat and/or seafood without really noticing that it once lived.

Well, there’s nothing more amusing now that I’ve been in Japan for 9 years than watching the facial expression on a “green teachers” face as he or she is being served a nice fish, shrimp or crab with the head still on it looking at you with those little helpless DEAD eyes.

Needless to say that every culture has different eating habits and I now absolutely love the taste a fresh, fresh raw fish.

By for now…..