Sunday, April 23, 2006

Chopstick Collection



I'm American. I know I am, but there's a part of me that can't help but love chopsticks. My 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Johnston (if memory serves me right, it was the 5th grade, but was there a "t" or not? My mom will correct me if I'm wrong) was Japanese and she not only wrote our names in Kanji (I still remember how to write it, vaguely), but she taught us how to use chopsticks the last day of school. I fell in love with her. She opened my world and for the first time, I was exposed to Asian culture. Since then, I've only eaten Asian food with chopsticks.

Now, here I am, an adult and I still use them every chance I get. I always ask for them in restaurants, and have been teased by my American friends, "You're not Chinese, what are you doing?" and have probably amazed some of my Asian friends. My friend Tina tells me that I use them better than she does and she's Chinese. I thought she was putting me on until another one of my Chinese friends informed me that I use them better than he does. Another friend mentioned that it was a good diet tool because you certainly can't eat a lot with them. Well, he hasn't seen me eat with them. I think I could get fat using them to eat. Nothing stands in my way when it comes to eating!

So I'm a bit obsessed, some would say, but if you look in my silverware drawer, you'll find, about 14 pairs, 3 of which are takeouts from restaurants. I collect and use them. I usually buy two sets when I find a some that I like (most of my Asian dinnerware is in twos), and I am currently looking for a pair I saw in a magazine months ago. I know that there's a difference in Chinese and Japanese chopsticks, and I know basic etiquette. The only thing I have trouble eating are noodles. I can get grains of rice singly, but not noodles. I got the concept down, but the technique needs practice. Just when I've got them wrapped around the sticks and make it halfway to my mouth, they slide right off into the bowl, adding a splash for insult.

Update: I found the chopsticks I have been searching for and hope to order them soon. They aren't expensive, but I will feel much better finding something else to order with them to justify the shipping costs. But I've found them at least and I'm happy for now.

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