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Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Like every other weird kid, I used to like playing with creepy creatures (including my cousins and ‘nosy’ friends) like worms and insects. With age, I stopped playing and started watching these weird creatures on ‘Discover Channel’.While I was leaving for Japan, the only encouraging statement I heard was, “you are non-veggie, so you can easily survive”.

But every word of encouragement shattered on the very first day in office. I had to take help of two of my friends to crack the ‘Hieroglyphics’ menu. Me: Is this the menu? [The prototype of food items will be exhibited]
Dhana: Yes, Thambi. The items, calories and price [proudly presenting himself as ‘menu’ cracker]
Me: Looks weird, na??

Subbu: Taste will be same [and a smile of ‘can’t help it]

Me: Which one should I take?
Dhana: Take this one [pointed at something in bowl, Dhana had capabilities of eating anything]
Me: Hmmm [Thinking…what the heck is that floating thing?]
Subbu: Dude, take this. It looks OK [pointing to some other thing.. Later, I found out that Subbu was good in choosing wise in limited worst options]


And then…..
I was given with a small rice bowl and a half-cooked fish. To add agony to the misery of my hungry stomach, I had to eat with ‘chopsticks’. Rice was really sticky which can be used as substitute for ‘Fevicol’ and fish, fish was not cooked properly, its eyes were out and I felt they were looking at me… if I had gazed it for few more seconds then it might have yelled back “asshole, what are you looking at like a pervert?… are you a fish ‘rapist’?.. Bloody eat me fast, it pains when half cooked”.
That was creepy feeling. I was hungry like a pig so I cut down my flying thoughts about fish and ate it. Like this everyday at canteen used to be an adventure in its own sense. While surviving the office canteen, I thought it was my pay back time to all the sins I committed.Whenever I had been to office parties, I used to recall ‘good old’ Discovery channel shows as all the creatures which I had seen on the documentaries used to be on our dining table. I don’t know how they catch these things and how they derived a ‘recipe’ to cook these weird creatures (actually speaking ‘recipe’ has just virtual meaning in Japan) I think cooking method is simple, catch the creature and serve it…

I ate my life’s most interesting things in ‘Izakai’ (traditional Japanese bars). I call it interesting and thrilling as I never felt that my food will jump out of the plate. Most interesting items were live octopus, and half grown frozen duck…

Thanks to ‘evolution of my eating habits’, within few days I adapted to Japanese food and slowly started feeling that I will pass the survival test and in reality I aced in it. Surprisingly, I gained 4-5 KGs in six months, as I ate everything and anything which I saw on dining table [fight of survival started and ended in my stomach]. Even today when I watch Discovery, I remember Japan, office canteen and office parties!!!

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Idli – a food item which looks like tiny ‘space saucer’. As per South Indians, Idli (along with its kin, Vada – Indian Doughnut) is termed as ‘King of breakfast’. . Most of us eat Idli daily but I started worshiping these ‘tiny UFOs’ after a strange incident.

It was my first trip in Japanese bullet train, so I was excited and at the same time little disappointed as ‘The Family’ was joining us for trip. But on the eve of journey, I go news from Dhana that ‘The Family’ is preparing Idlis for all of us. Hearing this news within 7milli seconds my affection for ‘the family’ increased 29.7 times 🙂

Adre, next day morning when we boarded the ‘sub way’, ‘the family’ realized that they have forgotten Idli pack at home. What a pity… what a shame?
Mr. Senior R furiously started blasting his family for this ‘inhumanly’ act. Mr. Junior R was busy in analyzing how they might have missed the packet. Using ‘Fourier Transforms’, he concluded that its Japan’s fault… [May be as trains here leave on time, if there was delay in train he could have gone back and fetched that packet… very true]. Mrs. Senior R was not much worried about what was happening between Father and Son, she had done her job of cooking, logistics was not her job…

And we outsiders decided to stay away from the discussion, ‘101 ways to remember idli packets while traveling’… anyway we were not sure that our insurance covers damages for domestic violence of other families… so we followed simple phrase, ‘silence of the lambs’ 🙂

Whenever conversation used to come to a halt, Mr. Senior used to ‘kick the starter’ with loud voice “How can you forget Idli?” And again ‘family’ used to start their pointless discussion. Arguments and counter arguments of ‘The Family’, made me realize that forgetting Idli pack is much bigger crime than murder.

After seeing the Bullet Train the idli topic faded away and ‘the family’ was ready to take ‘the family’ snap. I felt instantly that true family is the one which fights for Idlis and poses for camera 🙂

Mr. Senior was quite peculiar, and always used to target me to show his ‘tourist guide’ skills, he used to tell some ‘spectacular’ things about the place, which I felt really boring. And Family kept on calling me ‘Puneet’ [A stupid looking Kannada movie actor, haan… Puneet comma hereaaa…]. Anyway, I had no other option but to tolerate them, although I had no reason to like them [of course, they had no Idlis].

And it was lunch time, looking at ‘the family’ member’s faces, I could make out that soon volcano will erupt over ‘forgotten Idli’ topic and we guys decided to vacate the potential ‘war zone’. Before wink of eye, we were in McDonald’s and while eating chicken burger we (non-‘Family’ members) didn’t miss the chance of think about ‘the family’ (which automatically brought ‘sadist’ smiles on our faces 🙂

After many cold and hard working days in Japan, finally the day of my return was near. As a part of excitement of home going, I started dreaming of India but strangely not of girls, friends or family but of Idlis, lots of Idlis. I never realized whether I used to love Idlis so much but sure ‘The Family’ and its ‘Idli trip’ has its impact on my imagination… :)…. I bet even after 3-4 reincarnations, I will get these ‘flying Saucers’ (Idlis) in my dreams… thanks to ‘the family’ and mindless ‘idli’ arguments!!!

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[Continuation from Part 1 ……….]
Disclaimer: This is just funny/ weird interpretation of Japanese words and no offenses to any Nihonjin or Gaijin. I am not damn responsible if you people think this is mini-Japanese dictionary and want to use it in your research to earn Ph.D in Non-Sense:)

Konbini:
“Convenience store.” A ubiquitous aspect of Japanese life, Konbinis are the place to go to for all of life’s essentials: food, snacks, drinks, supplies, and porn magazines.

Inaka:
“Countryside”, the rural districts of Japan, are determined and measured by the meters between two Konbinis. If you can walk 10 meters without passing a Lawson’s, Family Mart, AM-PM, 7-11, or Coco, you are officially in Inaka. Levels of inaka are also classified by the best fast food chain one has. As follows: Not Inaka (Wendy’s), Partially Inaka (McDonald’s), Pretty Inaka (KFC), Damned Inaka (MosBurger), Ridiculously Fucking Inaka (none). The Inaka is distinguished by its expanses of rice paddies, unpopulated schools, lack of young people, and extremely sexually frustrated single people. 

Kana:
Kana are the two phonetic syllabifies of Japanese language: Hiragana is used to write words and provide grammar references in sentences. Katakana is used to bastardize foreign loan words so that foreigners are forced to spend long unproductive hours to figure out which of their own words it is. For example, “hanbaagu [Hand bag],” “Cohi [coffee]”, “tobago [cigarette]” or “Pooru [Pool]”.

Kanji:
Kanjis are Han-Chinese characters, a system of writing borrowed from China. Kanji are some 2,000 ideographs that have both phonetic and semiotic components called “radicals” (such as water, wheat stalk, mouth, fire, person, etc) that reveal much about the culture that invented them. For instance, ethno linguistic specialists have determined that fauna of China when first Kanjis were invented consisted largely of window panes with spider legs and spiky boxes wearing hats. 

Oishii: (meaning: Delicious)
The word has an interesting history, as for centuries it served mere an abstract concept, as none of the raw or overcooked food in Japan could even remotely be described as “oishii.” Oishii thus could only be defined as something that didn’t exist.

Yatta! :
“Did it!” The Japanese equivalent of “woo hoo!”. Generally used upon completion of a task, particularly effective after completing daily routines in micro-bathroom. 

Nomikai/Enkai:“Work party”, a time for Japanese people to get together with co-workers and unwind over few drinks (note that in Japan, “a few drinks” is the equivalent of a kegger). Whatever happens in Enkai remains in Enkai. Japanese use this loophole to drunkenly telling off their boss, asking ridiculously personal questions. Perhaps, virtually identical to office Christmas parties in America, except no one get fired on Monday.

 

[To be Continued… see part3]

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