Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Seriously, Japonais

The demeanor… the demeanor!

A primitive food hunter that I am, I had to descend from the mountains to work on an assignment: to get as much information as I can on Japanese food as ordered by the tribe chief. Submissive to orders as always, what choice have I got but to say yes- even if it meant refining my coarse jungle ways. Dress up appropriately- like a lady, for gods sake, and take that kitchen look from off your face.
As my habit has always been, I live in a world that is entirely my own making. Whether it is dozing/ sleeping/ daydreaming of erotic things during board meetings or getting lost in the same thoughts while chopping onions, I do have an honest tendency to divert my thoughts from the reality I live. This Japanese assignment for example, I had to live in that ‘zone’ where you could really feel the ‘soul’ of the cuisine you’re working at. Apparently I wasn’t thinking of samurais and geishas nor Morimoto nor cherry blossom showers… but… but with my very loyal sidekick/personal assistant/sister along, I was thinking of the Sadako genius, as my companion started clicking away in the infinity of the mirrors.
More than anything, I start to wonder what the relationship of Japanese food is to the ultra- creepy horror flicks. No gross bloodshed, no monsters, but, like the stair apparition below - they scare the brains out of you just the same. Any relationship with the sharpness of the bocho? Nah. Norman Bates isn’t a Japanese staple. Should I, then, make another thesis on the correlation of sashimi , donburi and mochi to the Japanese influence on the world’s imagination?
And while you wait for your Japanese coffee (which kicks Starbucks’ a**), you suppress laughter as your companion gives you that creepy stare. She’s looking straight into you as if you’re an empty mirror- and you start to feel a little uncomfortable. Damn, am I going a little too far in playing out this script that – what if the person staring at me is not really my sister? You distract yourself with the menu. The person sitting in front of you continues to stare anyway.
Then from behind, someone nudges you and asks, “Hey, is our coffee here yet?” WTF! “Where have you been?!”

“To the washroom. Why?”

With ashen face, you look across… and the seat was empty.


Stop all the pretending. Smile while the matcha is hot. This is what Japanese food does to you after all- making you really hungry beyond sanity.


Shot on location (yup, our crazy modeling stint, it is): YURAKUEN Restaurant, Diamond Hotel, Manila

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