I came to The Netherlands 9 years and 6 days ago... I was carrying two bags that managed to contain my whole previous life (and veeeeeery few pairs of shoes...) and that was everything I needed for my new start here... I had decided that this would be indeed a new start and I wanted to be free from the past, free from previously acquired burdens... There was one more thing I brought, one thing that could not fit in those two bags because it was enormous: My desire to try new things and to gather as many experiences I could!!
I still remember the first time I tried raw fish... I was in Paris, of all places and about 9 years back... I also remember (as I'm not thaaaaaat old yet...) my preconceptions on the matter: "you know, in Japan, they eat raw fish!!!! yuk!!!" So that night that I was taken, as part of a big group of people, to a Japanese restaurant somewhere in the French capital (for the life of me I have no idea where it was... only that there was a spectacular view of the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the night!!) it was only my timidity that made me try the food as I was too embarrassed to say "sorry, I'm too disgusted to put it in my mouth!!"... so, I did try it... It was a revelation! Ever so fresh salmon sashimi, melting in my mouth, delicate sushi rolls of rice filled with tuna and crispy seaweed (took me quite a while to know it's called "nori" but, hey, now I know :) and all that accompanied by warm sake that put a smile, a big smile, on my face! So, that was it! I was hooked!
The other night I went out to a Japanese restaurant with a dear friend and neighbor who also likes the raw delicacy as much as I do! And in between our lovely conversation, we were both exclaiming "mmmmmmm, delicious" as we were savoring the food! I have to say that I have the same feeling of delight whenever I eat sushi or sashimi as that first time in Paris! And, needless to say, when I was in Japan a couple of years ago, I was one of the happiest people on the earth for eating it every day!
Now, can I prove to you that sushi is better than shoes? Better than that pair of round-tow Prada pumps with the embroidery on the leather that I spotted the other day? Hmmmm... Perhaps not... And perhaps one does not have to choose...The fact of the matter is that I did not bring any shoes back from Japan (and neither from Paris on that visit...) and that to me, a mouth full of fresh, raw salmon is one of the pleasures in life I could not live without!
PS. What?! Don't like it?! Pleeeeease, try it once more and let your tongue do the tasting not your preconceptions ;)