Tuesday, October 08, 2002

Was taken out for lunch by the manager on the Chinese side yesterday. Best local food so far, very spicy and tasty. Managed at least a couple of chews of 'Chicken's foot' but no one else from our group would agree to allow our guest to order the dog that they had on the menu. Glad we didn't get it in the end as it would have spoiled the rest of the meal. Went out for some drinks in the evening and a meal (all I seem to be talking about recently is food) at an Italian restaurant. Had eaten loads for lunch, so decided just to share a appetiser in the form of a selection of cold meats and cheeses. Subjected myself to considerable mental torture as I tore the synaptic pathways that had been created over the last week of retrieving food from the centre of the table using only chopsticks. We asked the owner for some, but he refused, reminding us that this was an Italian restaurant. Not only did it seem alien to use a fork for this purpose, but it also took much of the fun and interest out of the activity. Food items would not be merely presented and consumed, a period of intense study and appreciation for many qualities of the food item not normally consciously considered such as texture (will it be too slippery to pick up), compressibility, viscosity of the sauce it is contained in (will it drip), colour and size (if I drop it, will it make a noticeable mess on the table cloth), would take place before a chopstick retrieval was attempted. Considering the food in this way before it came anywhere near ones mouth adds considerably to ones appreciation of it.

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