Friday, December 02, 2005

I stand corrected (Mutual Slump - DJ Shadow) to some extent on the matter of private rooms in restaurants. It has been pointed out to me that Taiwan and Japan have the same system and in fact in many restaurants in Japan (so I'm told) all dining is done in personal rooms. This means that my argument isn't quite right as these places have developed under very different social structures but I do still believe that the rooms where used for the purpose of having private meetings where 1)people outside didn't know what was being discussed and 2)people didn't know if the wrong people were talking. Anyway, if anyone else wants to add their two pence to the discussion, I'd be interested to hear.

I suddenly feel like I'm stuck in the middle of an Italo Calvino novel. Having found a new form of cinematic cranial stimulation I've found that it's possible to have a similar sensation from written material. I spent a small fortune on an imported book, Salman Rushdie's 'The Ground Beneath her Feet'. (In the mind - Nitin Sawhney) I've been looking forward to reading another Rushdie having been very impressed by Midnight's Children. Anyway, having a quick flick forward in the book I noticed some writing in a subtly different font. After a little detective work I believe that pages 450-550 of my brand new book are in fact in Swedish from a completely different novel. I'm renowned for getting royally ripped off but this is getting a bit silly. (Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds - The Beatles).

I think I've found my enamel ceiling, my gastronomic limit if you will. Though it's supposed to have miraculous healing properties and some find it truly delicious, I can assure you that I won't be picking sea cucumber as a tasty starter again any time soon. It's not distasteful, in fact it tastes of nothing whatsoever and perhaps along with its texture of (Touch me I'm Sick - Sonic Youth) firmly set jelly, this is why it's pretty difficult to eat much. As I ordered it and it was pretty expensive (by our usual standards) I felt it was my duty to eat my fair share which I did but not without some serious contemplation. I find that if I analyse the taste and texture it's not too bad because there's nothing inherently bad about it (Recently at the Opera - Minus 8) and it's palatable.

Here's a link to the photo of today's lunch. Have a look if you want to see how sea cucumber is prepared in China.

Anyway, I shall stop putting you off your food.

Here ends the procrastination. (Virtual love - Joe Pass)


Luca said...

What Calvino's novel were you reading? I personally like "Marcovaldo" and "Il Visconte Dimezzato" (not sure how the title is translated, it may be something like "The Halved Count") and all his short stories.
If you are keen to italian novelist, I would suggest Pirandello - he is a play-writer but wrote a couple of novels like "Il fu Mattia Pascal" - and definitely Italo Svevo and his "La Coscienza di Zeno".
Sorry I don't know how the titles are translated in english, but since they have the main character name in it, they should be easy to find.

Jonathan Shock said...

Many thanks Luca. The one I was thinking of was "If on a Winter's Night a Traveller" but I'll look out for the others. May not be so easy to find out here but I'll do my best.

Sara said...

I think it's funny there was Swedish in the middle of your book, after you watched the movie dubbed wrongly (somewhere recent on your blog). Representative of the crazy world...

Jonathan Shock said...

'tis indeed but I'm slowly beginning to realise that this is the norm. As long as I don't let it annoy me it can only add to the different possible viewing experiences. I'm now looking for Zatoichi to the tune of The Wizard of Oz with A bout de souffle's subtitles in Sanscrit. Sounds like the recipe for a perfect, relaxed Wednesday night.