Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Origato, Negishi San!

This morning I had a noisy breakfast. It all began some years ago in the Japanese city of Kanazawa, where I had gone to run a training workship together with a Tokyo academic called Negishi San. Kanazawa is the only city not to have been bombed in WWII, and for this reason it has wonderful traditional architecture. But that has nothing to do with noisy breakfasts. One evening, Negishi San took me for a stroll round a district not far from where we were staying. I guessed it was what we would call a working-class district.
"Do you feel peckish?" he asked me suddenly. Never one to refuse food, even though we had eaten earlier that evening, I said ok. With this, we pushed through the door of an anonymous building and that was when I discovered the Japanese Noodle House. Huge portions of noodles in steaming bowls were placed in front of us.
"I know in England it is impolite to slurp your soup," he said gently, "but in Japan you are expected to make a slurping noise when you eat noodles."
So I joined the general slurpy cacophony in this unassuming eatery, trying to blend in with the nightworkers, truckers and assorted flotsam slurping at the long counter. I felt very un-British, and gloriously liberated. Slurp slurp slurp SLURP SLURP....
So, thanks to Negishi San, I sometimes have noisy noodles for breakfast.


Nea said...

Noisy noodles for breakfast? And we thought breakfasting on chocolate cake was wicked. As it's half-term we might just try noodles tomorrow, but only for the slurping. On second thoughts, the noodles are off, may we slurp spaghetti?

Old Scrote said...

Worth a try, Ruth! Let me know what happens. BTW, slurping chocolate cake is not recommended.

EBRU said...

I agree. We shouldn't slurp chocolate cake we should eat it with our hands without forks.

P.S: I have been begging for it for nearly 20 years on my birtday parties but nobody accepted that way of eating, so far. I hope, one day, I can find somebody to eat together like that:))

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I love Japanese food and culture, although I've never been to Japan. (Yet.) Most of my impressions are from reading Japanese writers in translation, so I'm not sure my knowledge is accurate.

It does require an adjustment to think of noodles, seaweed, fish, whatever, as breakfast food if one has grown up within the narrow parameters of cereal or eggs, muffins and bagels. But there is really no reason any food is not appropriate for any meal if one likes it.

I especially love cold noodles - hiyashi chuka, vegetarian-style.

Old Scrote said...

You are right, Heart, but I have so far drawn the line at boiling up a vindaloo curry for breakfast!