Tag Archives: chopsticks

Picky, picky, picky

Occasionally I have lunch at a nearby Japanese restaurant, that has a very reasonably priced and delicious bento box. As I walk towards the entrance, I see one of the chefs and a waitress sitting outside talking to each other. I make my way inside the restaurant and sit down at the counter. I always like to come shortly before lunch closing time, as the restaurant is a bit more quiet then. As I sit down, two women are already sitting at the counter eating their meal, and are talking non-stop. Sigh. But, I’m here, and I’m hungry.

The waitress takes my order, and brings me a glass of ice water with a slice of lemon (my favorite), some chopsticks, and a napkin. The waitress that was outside now comes in, sees me, and says: “Oh, you snuck by me!” She then grabs my chopsticks, stuffs them in the water-glass, and asks if I would like a menu. I’m at a loss for words first, look at her a bit perplexed and reply: “Well, I hate to disappoint you, but I already ordered my bento box, and that water was just fine until now”. “Oh my gosh” she blurts out, “I’m so sorry”, “I’ll get you some new water”. I smile, and tell her it’s OK.

My bento box comes, and I start to eat, determined to enjoy it, despite the continuing non stop chatter next to me. A sip of tea, another sip. I notice that the woman next to me has left about four pieces of very appetizing looking sushi on her plate. I contemplate: it looks like they have finished eating, will they leave soon? I weigh having to listen to more chatter, against the prospect of an early departure on my part. Yes! The waitress brings their check, and they finally pay and leave. The waitress turns her attention towards the plate of the departed customer that has the sushi on it, to take it back into the kitchen. I ask her: “May I please have that sushi for my cat”? She tells me: “Sure, sure, let me get you a box”. Patience is rewarded. I then finish my lunch.

Now get this: I come back to my apartment, and serve the fish to Mr. Calvin. And what do I get? An upturned nose, as he sniffs at it, and walks away. “Do you know, what I went through, to get you this?”, I raise my voice. My displeasure is sensed immediately, and a very rapid retreat is made from the kitchen.

Evening update: Apparently someone’s appetite has returned, and the fish was finally eaten. Lucky for you buddy, I was considering withholding canned food, until you do. Other cats would fight over this. Sincerely: the other resident of the apartment.

Have a blessed Sunday and week, and may more than one piece of fish come your way — quietly…

Sugar cane

Sugar cane

Sugar cane

I originally wrote this post in the spring, so it has a little seasonal delay.

It seems that my local Target store has implemented the new Bay Area “no more plastic bag” law, and switched to paper bags. I am amused though, when I receive a plastic gift card after purchasing some paper towels (for use in cat footprint removal as you may recall).

My destination today is the Oakland Farmer’s Market. It has been a long time since I paid a visit to it. It is cold on the sidewalk that is in the shadow of the high-rise buildings, but once I move into the sun on the opposite side, it is a pleasant walk. An abundance of produce is for sale today, and an assortment of food booths exude their aromas. One table has a stack of sugar cane stalks on it, and several young kids from a school class on an excursion are restrained by their teacher from grabbing them for misuse. I chuckle, as I fondly recall my oldest son’s mischievous antics at that age. I saw sugar cane once in the form of a burning sugar cane field in Venezuela, a memorable sight. It was a real blessing to be able to visit my youngest son there — thanks be to God.

At the corner of the market a three piece band is playing Dave Brubeck’s “Take Five”. One of the musicians is playing a flying-V electric violin. It is a unique rendition of the song. Mr Brubeck (may he rest in peace) would be delighted I’m sure. I have only recently explored and visited the historic part of downtown Old Oakland, and I must say it is delightful. Cleaned up streets, historic Victorian buildings, and small interesting local businesses. A rebirth. It is a fun place to walk.

For lunch I have a small combination bento box in a Japanese restaurant. I observe one of the patrons at the table next to me, rubbing two chopsticks together periodically after having removed them from the paper sleeve. After I receive the check, I stop by the table and ask what the purpose of this is, as it is unknown to me. The woman giggles, and says it is to get rid of any possible splinters. It seems today is an educational day.

The sun is shining on the market now and I stop at an orchid stand that I had passed earlier. After a fun discussion, and some information about proper orchid care, I purchase a Cattleya orchid (which is the queen of orchids I am told — I hope it won’t be a royal pain in terms of maintenance).

Back on Broadway, a worker is giving one of the old ornamental street lights a coat of fresh black paint. It is nice to see some civic pride in my adopted hometown.

I hope you have a blessed week, and an abundantly filled bento box day, but no splinters!