Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fish Chunks

As a loving and devoted father, I am always trying to get my daughter to experience new things, new food dishes, different traditions, art and architecture of foreign places. A necessary experience to foster worldliness, appreciation for other cultures, an introduction to new ideas, and an opportunity to embrace the differences among us. Sounds like I should be up for a father of the year award, right? Well, hold up just a minute. I feel compelled to tell you something before the big award presentation. I have been rethinking my position about all this culture crap. Why? Well it all started when I began to think that if I am going to make my daughter try new things, then I should be willing (and, yes, eager) to try new things myself. O.K., picture the scene, I am in the Netherlands walking about through quaint villages with some friends. The greatest delicacy known to these people is fresh herring, caught right out of the myriad streams that interlace the country side. They are then served up immediately to the drooling throngs. So, I step up to the plate (hah). I am not a big lover of seafood (or food that stares back at me either for that matter), but I agree to try the local favorite. I am going to be brave. Yes for once in my life, I am going to be a man. I place my order, the vendor hands me my, err, treat, and I am ready to put my money where my mouth is. I take a bite and chew. Three, two, one, ... wait for it ..., I blow chunks everywhere. The side of the vendor's cart, the vendor's shoes, in short, all over the blessed quaint village. Funny, the locals did not act upset. In fact, the entire episode seemed to be a great source of mirth for them. I am beginning to suspect that, perhaps, this raw fish isn't really a local delicacy, but a huge joke perpetrated by the cursed Netherland-ians on unsuspecting and gullible tourists. But my point is, forget about all this openness to cultures and other's traditions, if it smells or looks in the least bit funny, run like the wind Bullseye.