This is sort of a continuation of my Wrong post. I had such fun with that post I wanted to continue on with things that just feel wrong, even though they may not necessarily be wrong.. sometimes certain things while traveling to different countries just don’t feel right.
I want my food dead. Not sick, not dying, dead.
Here’s the thing. I come from a place where you walk into a store, buy things that do not move. There are usually no limbs, eyes or teeth staring at you. (Yes, limbs can stare!!) It doesn’t bark, howl or pant at you while you decide if you are going to eat it. It’s civilized food. It is cleanly displayed in an organized rack and not on the ground or hanging dripping from a hook. There is no smell, unless it’s a very thought out smell that is artificially placed in musical stores to entice you to really, really want to try a sample that is doled out by a very pretty lady or a very funny man wearing a hair net and plastic gloves.
You go into a restaurant and sit in very straight chairs where a super nice person will come up to you and politely ask if you would care for any more bottled water, organic coffee or a beautifully prepared slice of pie. Very civilized.
As I have already mentioned in my post “I’m not a Glutton..” I have alluded to the fact that most of my best memories revolve around eating or around food themed events. I love food. However, I have over the years been exposed to aBsoLuTEly crazy foods and crazy eating habits. In my mind there is NOTHING wrong with these various ideas of how to shop, cook or eat in the ways that I have seen. I’m not being judgemental, it’s a cultural thing and so I go out of my way to participate in many of these strange food rituals.
My favorite example of a strange food ritual happened about a day after my daughter and I got to Korea and were barely moved into our one room, twin bed apartment. We were still tired and a bit disoriented from our 18 hour trip from Chicago through Japan and decided that we should go for a walk. In front of a 7-11 (yes they have 7-11’s in Korea) we saw Korean men dressed in business suits standing around a table. Each man was holding one or two legs of a live octopus.. and alternately sipping on bottles of Soju while gnawing on the legs of the creature. Both my daughter and I could only stand and stare with our mouths hanging open. Sadly, I did not have my camera.
I could not find a good representative photo of 5 businessmen eating a live octopus in front of a 7-11 so
The following photos are just some of the foods I have experienced through some of the countries I have visited. Enjoy.
There is nothing a man will not eat when hard pressed by hunger. And no one is entitled to condemn until he knows what famine means.
–Lin Yutang, My Country and My People