As we walked into the Sushi restaurant at the Prudenital I took a look at the surroundings. The first thing I noticed was the smell. It smelled like a regular seafood restaurant with the smell of cooking fish in the air. This surprised me as I was expecting a more raw fish smell. The decor was traditional Japanese, from the symbols on the walls to the chopsticks on the tables.. So far everything was progressing nicely and I had no reason to believe that this meal would be anything other than enjoyable.
After being seated at a booth by the window, The waiter asked us what we wanted to order. I looked at the menu but I still had no idea of what Sushi really was. There seemed to be every imaginable kind of seafood available. I didnt even consider that not only fish, but crab and octopus and squid could be considered Sushi as well. So I asked the waiter what I should order if I just wanted some traditional Sushi. He seemed to not understand me and walked off after a minute of meaningless banter. The girl who had seated us walked ove I explained that I had never had Sushi before and that I wanted to try something traditional and Sushi like. She asked if I would be willing to try anything raw and I responded Sure.
The Sushi platter arrived shortly and for the first time I laid my eyes upon this unique type of food. It looked like an artistic creation. Greens, reds, blacks, yellows, all the colors of the rainbow right before my eyes. In addition to the colors, the orderliness of it was remarkable. Not a piece of rice was out of place . Even the Wasabi was in a nice little mound off to the side. I then began eating, starting at the bottom of the plate and working my way up. Up until this point I was enjoying myself. But as I looked at that first piece of raw slimy fish I couldnt help the thought of putting that into my mouth without first rolling it in some cornmeal and frying it up on the stove.
But I am not easily discouraged, so I put the entire fish in my mouth, chewed several times, and swallowed. It tasted horrible! Immediately I felt my stomach rumble and i tried to spew he fish back onto my plate. Only through a test of willpower was I able to keep it down long enough to drink some of my Pepsi. I then worked my way through the tuna, snapper, eel, fish eggs, and the rest, each with similar results. My drink was refilled four times before the meal was finally over. In the end I asked for the check and left the restaurant as quickly as I could. All though I didnt enjoy the meal its self its a memorable moment for me because i tried something forgien to me
After I was able to take a few deep breaths and begin relaxing again, I left from that unpleasant event and tried to put it all into perspective. What started out as a night out with some coworkers and simple curiosity to try something new had turned into an incident that I would look back upon with disgust. But I also realized that Sushi is not just a type of food, it is a tradition and culture. And while I may not find the taste appealing I do have respect for those who are willing to include anothers customs within their own way of life.