It was a long week. Coupled with the health scare I had and all the stress that came with it, I was so ready for the weekend. So here I was heading home when my friends texted me to find out if I wanted to have dinner, happy to catch up with them, I rerouted my journey and proceeded to go meet them.
Fast forward about one hour later, we arrived the restaurant and ordered our dinner. I was going to quietly order the house fried rice that my Nigerian self was familiar with; I really was but then my girl Miss K said to try sushi. Soon chants of “try something new!” were ringing in my ears and I decided to give it a try. I’ve had sushi before but it was always a stolen bite here and there from my friends, I had never ordered a whole platter before. There’s always a first time, I thought to myself. So the food arrived and it looked beautiful, very well plated and I was excited to dive in.
Feeling very brave, I decided to put the thought that I was about to eat a bunch of raw fish out of my mind and just enjoy the feeling of being adventurous and trying something new. Then came the chopsticks. I politely asked for a fork because I didn’t know what to do with the chopsticks (I’m sure the fact that I’m a village girl is glaring to you by now lol!) “No, use the chopsticks; you shouldn’t use a fork to eat sushi” they said. So I picked up the sticks.
First attempt; awkward laughter. Second attempt; mild annoyance that two flimsy chopsticks were defeating me. Third attempt; one of the sticks snapped in two! At this point, I retired the sticks and reverted to my default setting aka my hands. Now, next to the sushi and the eel sauce was some weird looking stuff. I tasted the first one and my semi refined taste buds could tell that it was some sort of pickled ginger. I love ginger so I really liked it. Feeling brave, I decided to taste the other stuff next to the ginger…pause. As the 9ja girl that I am, having lived in Lagos all my life I thought I knew pepper, I honestly thought no spicy food could faze me, boy was I wrong! Unpause; so I scooped the green stuff which I now know as wasabi into my mouth.
Nothing, I repeat nothing could have prepared me for the explosion of heat that happened in my mouth! Frankly, it left me temporarily deaf and dumb. I think I went a little blind too. I saw stars, I gulped my sweet tea as fast I could and it didn’t help, my friends were hollering in laughter and somehow I managed to laugh with them too. #embarrassed. Eventually I regained feeling in my mouth and I solemnly ate my sushi sans wasabi.
I finally settled down and enjoyed my meal, but it is safe to say that wasabi and I have become sworn enemies henceforth. It won’t stop me from exploring though, because at the end of the day I am just a Nigerian girl, trying to learn new things and experience new cultures.
Ps: I had been looking for the hash key on my keyboard for the longest time and I just couldn’t find it, only for me to just randomly stumble upon it just now! This goes to show that you find good things when you aren’t too busy searching for them, so I’m just going to type a bunch of hash signs for no good reason…################ Ok, it’s out of my system now.
“I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I’m always excited about learning new things about food.” –Paul Prudhomme