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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Steve Sereboff on February 16, 2009 at 6:13 am

    Quit slacking and get back to blogging. It’s one of the few interesting areas in our quiet suburban existence. But first, since you like a story, how about one of mine from a recent visit to Tokyo: Like the Germans, the Japanese can be way to anal retentive to have fun, or to let others have fun. The typical Japanese employee receives detailed training in how to precisely perform their job, and never varies. In the last few years, I’ve noticed a growing population of Indians in Tokyo, and (delightfully) a growing number of Indian restaurants. The Indian restaurants are almost all mom-and-pop operations, and provide a welcome change to Japanese fare. I was visiting one of the many office tower complexes in Tokyo and stopped into a little Indian place in the complexes sleek, ultra-modern galleria. It was late, and the only people working were Japanese. The menu was Indian, but not the traditional dishes. No problem. My friend and I ordered set meals based upon the photos in the menu, in typical Japanese form. A drink was included. I asked for a mango lassi. I love unusual foreign drinks, and besides Mexican horchata, mango lassi is one of my favorites. Too bad for me, mango lassi wasn’t on the menu, said my Japanese friend. I smiled at the waitress, pointed at a photo of the mango lassi in the menu, and politely disagreed with my friend. No, that wasn’t mango lassi, it was mango juice. I could have mango juice if I would like. On a lark, I asked if the menu had lassi, the regular kind. Feeliing like Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces, I smiled and asked the waitress for the mango juice, and a lassi. My friend did not understand why I would want two drinks. Playing another “gaijin” card, I asked for an empty glass as well. My friend saw what was coming, though the waitress had no clue. The mango lassi I made was tasty indeed, and even my Japanese friend admitted that it was a good idea. But he also agreed that it would have been inconceivable for anyone working in the restaurant to simply mix mango juice with lassi.

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