Thursday, April 1, 2010


Due to the graphic nature of the following post, reader discretion is advised for those with weak stomachs...

So, this evening I went to one of the cafes near my house. There are two cafes that I frequent near my house - one is a place where I can just relax and forget about everything. The other is where I go if I want to chat and remain engaged in other goings-on. The second one is where I went this evening.

I had a wonderful time chatting with the lady who runs the shop and two people who were there the last time I was there on a Thursday. We had a sort-of meeting - the last time I saw them, they were like, "Hey, come back on Thursdays!" We had a good time chatting about random things, like food names in Japanese and English.

I also had quite a nice dinner. It was a set of a seafood soup, rice, salad, marinated mushrooms that were amazing, and pork wrapped around a green onion.

Then it all began.

I used to consider myself a fairly adventurous person. I've always liked to try new foods. I'm beginning to rethink that stance.

First, some yellow stuff was given to me to try. It turned out to be herring roe. I ate it, and was proud of myself.

Then...this came out...
dried whole shrimp.

I think many of you know my thoughts on shrimp with heads.

They aren't exactly my favorite.

And these guys were dried.

This one started off with legs and a tail as well.

The lady next to me took one first, and I cautiously watched her pull off the bottom half and eat it. I felt a little more optimistic, as I figured I could handle the non-head part of the shrimp.

I picked up my shrimp. It kind of felt like accidentally touching a certain Southern insect that thrives in humid climates. For decency's sake, we will call it by its Danish name, kakerlak. My apologies to any Danish-speaking readers.

I slowly broke my shrimp in half. I inwardly chanted to myself, "It's not a kakerlak, it's not a kakerlak..."

CRUNCH!!!!!!!! I inwardly shuddered as I kept repeating my mantra, "It's NOT a kakerlak!" as I chewed and swallowed.

Then, I noticed that my neighbor had eaten the head as well.

Then, out came an entire bag of dried shrimp HEADS!!

I examined the head of my shrimp. It had black eyes. It was probably once considered a great beauty among shrimp. Or maybe a hunk. I don't know. I rolled it around in my fingers for a little while, hoping it would look like I had picked up one of the solo heads.

Everything inside me was shouting "Do not eat that!! Don't do it!"

The polite part of me was at a loss for what to do, though.

Then came the flash of inspiration and reconciliation. As soon as no one was looking, I stuck the head in my pocket. Then I tried to look innocent.

So they offered me another shrimp. As slowly as I could (delaying the inevitable), I broke the shrimp in half and prepared to repeat the process. But I just couldn't eat the entire tail this time. So, everything went into the pocket.

I may need to wash my jeans.

They are such kind and wonderful people though! I really like them a lot...although I'd like to introduce them to my brother's shrimp scampi, which is how shrimp should be done! But, I will continue to try to eat whatever they give me, because I know they are doing it out of kindness (although, it IS April Fool's Day!)