Seafood and civilities, or lack thereof

Seafood and civilities, or lack thereof
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So I was invited to a seafood dinner by friends of a mutual friend. No big deal. I shouldn’t have to think too hard. Yet this invite had me debating whether or not to go. Firstly, I don’t eat live seafood, and secondly, I don’t know the host and his wife well which is a legit consideration for me. I don’t like dining with strangers.

On any other day, I would’ve declined without so much as batting an eyelid. But since our K friends would be flying off soon, I figured it’d be my last chance to catch up with them. So against my better judgement, I agreed and didn’t give it any further thought.

Came the night of the dinner. When the first course – raw oysters – arrived, I pushed my portion to the middle of the table and politely offered it to anyone who wanted a second helping.

Suddenly all eyes were on me as everyone struggled to make sense of what they’d just heard me say. Our host’s eyes were the size of aircraft carriers and his jaw positively dropped to, oh, 2,000 feet below sea level.

YOU DON’T EAT SEAFOOD?!!!!!“, he bellowed.

The look of sheer shock and horror on his face was priceless. I could totally have been this little green woman with antennae on my head the way he was staring at me. I was tempted to wink and say, you’re right, we don’t have seafood on Mars!

“No, I don’t eat live seafood,” was my reply, plain and simple.

Our host started looking desperately around the table for help dealing with this alien, the expression on his face clearly screaming, What the h*ll are you doing here? You shouldn’t even have come! Are you crazy?! When no support was forthcoming, he changed his tone and started selling it to me instead.

“Not even a bit?? You’ve never eaten seafood? Why don’t you try some? It’s VERY good!”

See here’s the thing. People either don’t listen or they don’t process information too well. I don’t know which. Instead they conjure up their own funky ideas of what they THINK you said. Now did I say I don’t eat seafood, or did I say I don’t eat live seafood? Big difference there!

Okay, 다시한번더, let’s try this one more time.

“I don’t eat live seafood.”

YOU DON’T EAT SEAFOOD??? REALLY?!!!?

Here we go again!

Seafood and civilities, or lack thereof

Okay, let’s see what happens if I explain the meaning of the word ‘live’ and while I’m at it, throw in some visuals.

“I do eat seafood. I just don’t eat the live ones swimming in those aquariums over there.”

You think I made myself clear enough this time? You think he gets the picture now?

Well, he should because in Asia, many seafood restaurants have all kinds of live fish and sea creatures lined up in rows of aquariums, all swimming happily, oblivious to the fact that a diner could walk in any time and hand them their death sentence.

They would then be hauled to the kitchen, thrashing helplessly in a net, to be tossed into pots of boiling oil or water depending on how the diner wants them done. Woah, and then they’re dead meat. On the table. Literally!

Frankly I don’t subscribe to this concept. Already there’s so much killing in the world today I think the least I can do is spare these poor harmless creatures .

Our host seemed to be enjoying the drama. He started throwing both his arms into the air and bellowing.

BUT THIS IS A SEAFOOD RESTAURANT, YOU KNOW!!!

And this isn’t Hollywood, you know! 너무 이상해요! Strange that you should mention it. Now I may not be the ex-CEO of a multinational (like you, dude) but please give me a little credit here.

Seriously, who would’ve thought? Maybe I’m too used to being around civilized company, people who would’ve flagged down a waiter right away and ordered something else for me. It’s really just plain good manners.

Which brings me to this question. How is someone’s food preference even such a big deal? True, I don’t walk around with a neon sign on my forehead advertising it. But in a world full of people who are vegetarian, gluten-free, diabetic, lactose intolerant, allergic… how is this even news?

Long story short, while our party gorged on seafood, all I had for dinner that night was a heap of vegetables and a few slices of stir-fried venison (the only non-seafood dish he had ordered, not for me, of course but simply because it’s his favorite).

Not complaining here but this goes to show our gracious hosts were only too happy to let their guest go home hungry. Epic fail *shrugs*! I didn’t go home hungry. I had dinner at home before I went to their dinner. Sixth sense perhaps. Or maybe I was half-expecting this. Still I had the last laugh *cheeky wink*.

Friend and flock

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You know those deep, meaningful conversations you have with close friends? Don’t you just love those? Yeah, me too!

They can be quite refreshing. For one thing, you don’t have to worry about being judged because there’s no way your close friends are going to judge you, right? *ponders* 😐

Well, they know you so well you can practically say anything and know you can get away with it, right? *ponders* 😔

Yeah so, we had one of those while driving to dinner at LK.

Friend: I haven’t been to LK for quite a while because A (a mutual friend) prefers to eat at S.

Me: Yeah, but the food at S isn’t any good.

Friend: What do you mean, it’s not good??!! It’s always crowded!

Me: So?!! That doesn’t mean their food is good.

Friend: What are you saying? Why do you think it’s so popular? There are always long lines.

Me: Because people have poor taste?!!

Silence.

I was going to add:

Because people are like sheep these days. All it takes is for one person to say this is tasty, or the internet to say that is delicious, and the next thing you know the flock is rushing there regardless of whether the food is actually good or not. Peace out! 😉

Strange and stranger

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The world is full of strange people, or to be more precise, people who strike me as strange. For instance, I’m enjoying a quiet coffee at the reception of a gym (not my regular gym) and minding my own business when a man comes up, stands over me and loudly asks if the person sitting across the coffee table from me is my mother. I didn’t answer him right away.

Instead I look up at him, giving him my signature once-over!! Granted he looks like your friendly neighborhood older person but still, how is it any business of his who that woman is? Not getting the response he expects, he repeats his question in the same demanding voice, to which I give him a do-I-know-you look and go, “Do you know her??!” I mean, so what if she is my mother? and so what if she isn’t?

Okay, maybe I’m just being difficult.

Not my fault, meeting a strange and nosy person first thing in the morning does this to me.

Unable to get a confirmation from me, he goes on to assume that she is (wrong!), and continues his line of questioning. So how old is she? Silence and a grin from me. So he starts guessing. Is she in her 60s? Silence and a grin. I wasn’t being rude or anything. I didn’t glare at him. I just didn’t say anything, and with people like that, it’s okay if you don’t answer, they won’t even notice, they’ll keep the questions coming from other angles and when they get tired of that, they go on to talk about themselves.

Actually more like brag. He tells me he’s 75, his wife is 73, and that they work out at this gym. Well, if he hadn’t annoyed me with that line of questioning, I might’ve jumped up enthusiastically and clapped, that’s great, I’m impressed! But he’d gotten me all sorta garlicky so I just nodded.

He goes on to lecture about what exercises he does. I couldn’t resist a big smile. I’m often amused listening to people like him. In my mind, I’m conjuring up images of him turning left and right, posing for selfies in his gym gear perched atop the gym equipment and posting them all over the internet LOL.

Pretty soon, I’m savvy to his weekly gym routine. Oh, I work out here for 1.5 hours 3-4 days a week, the other days of the week, I play golf, and my wife works out for 2 hours 5 days a week. We live across the road, it’s so convenient, we’re here every day. Oh man, as if I need to know all that! He laughs as he tells me, we have all the time in the world, we only eat and exercise… at which point, I’m LOL-ing real hard inside.

Yes, I know all about the eat-and-exercise syndrome. People here tell themselves it’s okay to pig out ’cause heck, they exercise – so no guilt, no worries, just eat. Then they go jump on the treadmill for 2-4 hours a day to ‘work off’ those calories they’ve just put on (you know, like filling up a wheelbarrow with rocks, then emptying it all out again) and they’re convinced it’s all good. Wokay, I get it LOL!

As it turned out, ten minutes was all it took me to know more about him than I do some of my relatives even. I really didn’t have to say much. He did all the talking. All I had to do was paste a big grin on my lips. Seriously though, now that I have all this information about this complete stranger, what do I do with it? 😏

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