It is a Japanese restaurant. Opium hangs in the air like a damned convicted prisoner of war. Japanese men lie around, blowing relaxedly on their pipes, laughing unrestrainedly as their other pipe receive the same treatment. The cause is a whole posse of comfort women, paid a dollar an hour, part-time or full-time, aged sixteen to thrity-five. They were brought into this world for no reason other than to satisfy these wastrel men. Some of these girls are slightly green, but soon they will improve with experience as their age increases and their nubility plummets – until nothing matters, anymore.
It is a Japanese restaurant. Sashimi flop around in their porcelain plates, almost alive and almost edible. I am sitting in the corner, appraising aloud my meal: the salmon is “tasty, very subtle and feminine”, the miso soup is “tangible, very tangible” – but when I come to the tempura, I see one of them greeting me with an inviting yet serene smile. Stationary, rooted to the spot, but no doubt exciting, tantalising, mischevous in temper. I struggle, and seek my finer judgments: but all three of them seem to egg me on toward the object of my interest (which is clad perhaps too revealingly, in that horrid translucent outfit). I knew that it would hurt, and it may be something that I will regret for the rest of my lunch – but beneath my garments, something makes a slight movement and even a small sound. I adjust my shirt, ashamed.
Yet I know that my stomach, Supreme Adjudicator of the Body, was right. Picking a choice piece of tempura with my chopsticks, I open the inviting bottle, revealing an intelligible mass of green and danger – and dip my bait for a long half second. I lift the chopsticks to my mouth in faux panache – I could already smell it from here – and eat the last bit of my lunch.
Hell hath no fury like anything dipped in wasabi.
I had Japanese (and sashimi) for lunch today.
The last notable time I had sashimi was on my 14th birthday (which, incidentally, is on the 24th of November. Yeah. Just thought you’d like to know). We went to Sushi Tei somewhere in Holland Village. I would be leaving the next morning for Malaysia – a waterpolo camp. My father suggested that I eat no raw food, because raw food induces diarrhoea (omg I can spell diarrhoea!).
Obviously, I ignored his advice and chose to eat sashimi.
And spent a third of the trip to Malaysia in abominable abdominal agony*, an ominous start to an otherwise peaceful and fun trip.
Which, of course, brings us to the moral of today’s post:
If you’re prepared to eat sashimi on the eve of a long bus trip, make sure you bring along a nice big chamberpot.
*Man, that is some awesome phrase.