Japan Expert AA Gill
I’m guessing that Times food writer AA Gill has some issues with Japan. Here are some excerpts from his latest review of a Japanese restaurant:
Japan is the only country I’ve ever been to that wants tourists not to understand what they are looking at. It thinks people who aren’t born Japanese are psychologically, intellectually, spiritually and aesthetically incapable of understanding their culture. Each time you are confronted by seven rocks in gravel, two lilies in a pot, a dwarf Christmas tree, a bedroom without a bed or a limerick without a joke, a polite little local will say “Sorry, very Japanese, difficult to explain”, which translates as: “You are too cretinously oafish and hairy to comprehend the finer feelings that are needed to admire this teapot in all its sublime simplicity.”
To respond, smile with as much patronage as you can muster and say: “Yes, it’s a pity you’ll never know what your decorative plagiarised trinket civilisation looks like through sophisticated western eyes.” Or: “How droll of you to have so many Elvis impersonators, and to make one of them prime minister.”
After stating that “A Japanese person may go for months without eating meat,” he complains about the waiter warning him about ordering more dishes than he might be able to finish:
You see, the waiter would never say that in a Polish restaurant. It’s another inexplicable thing about the Japanese — they think it’s disgusting if you eat because you’re hungry. Having a public appetite is like having sex with a dolphin in your mother’s bed on Cherry Blossom Day, so the haiku goes.
The agedashi tofu was less like “congealed river scum” than he was usually used to, and he was able to enjoy a boring bowl of udon by making “Benny Hill noises”. Overall verdict: 3 out of 5 stars.
[Article found via FG]