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April 28, 2007



"...he translated tsukidashi as an "obligatory delicacy." This phrase has a nice ring to it. And the fascinating concept of mandated delicious tidbits seems like a useful and positive approach to all cultural conundrums."

I agree with your sentiment. When we decide to involve ourselves in another culture, we're choosing to experience what it brings to our life... delicious tidbits will come for us to enjoy, but sometimes we will feel confused or even uncomfortable. Accepting and appreciating what comes along is key to partaking in another culture.


Actually, that's Kate Elwood's statement not mine. And I'm not sure how I'd react in this situation, but I guess I'd just pay for it.


One of my first Izakaya experinces in Japan (which might have been with you - but might not have been), was at Shirokiya, possibly in Sengendai-nishi (where I lived). They charged me 400 yen for edamame, which I wouldn't have ordered, and because it came without me asking for it I also assumed that it was free. On finding out that it wasn't I felt rather ripped off, but being British I didn't cause a fuss. I'm not that keen on such charges, but I guess if you know the culture and can read the menu (or signs) and are forewarned, then I suppose you make the choice, yet as they say, ignorance of the law is no defense, so I suppose I'd side with the Japanese owner in this situation. I much prefer the Korean way of doing things though, completely the opposite with their free side dishes that you can have re-filled almost without limit.

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