Slurping Mad

I was cycling back home from work one day when an incredible thought struck me. The cause for that particular thought to emerge was that I was going across ramen place after ramen place and smelling the heavenly flavors of whichever broth was under preparation at that specific point in time. I did not stop to ask for details.

The revolutionary idea was to start eating at all the shops on the way to the office one by one until I can write a thorough review of all the things Loop 7 (環七通り) between Nerima and Shinjuku has to offer ramenwise.

The culture of eating ramen is fascinating on many levels. It is the only eating culture that I know of that emphasizes eating rapidly while making weird noises without including any social interaction whatsoever. As a self-taught barbarian, this is something I long for whenever I have to eat with other people in a so-called civilized manner. The ideal, standard ramen shop is a place where you pay for your food beforehand at a ticket dispenser, receive a ticket with the dish you ordered, put the ticket on the counter, get ramen, stop breathing, eat ramen, wipe table, put dish back on counter and leave. Naturally, there are usually a few words exchanged with the owner to choose toppings or thank for the food, but there are no conversations between restaurant-goers, no eye contact with anyone, and people concentrate on, get this, *Sam Kinison voice* FUCKING EATING!

My initial problem with planning to report my eating experiences is that I have a very practical approach towards food. Either something is excellent, maa maa, or edible. Otherwise it isn’t food. And there are a lot of things you can eat that aren’t food as well. The fancy ramblings that food critics offer are just a highly sophisticated form of verbal perversion that I don’t want to be associated with. As a rule I’m much more interested in what constitutes my food than how many bizarre adjectives a highly paid lobbyist can find to describe it. Although my writing skills could possibly be up to the tedious task, my imagination and self-respect most likely would not be. I consider food critics to fall into the same category as people in marketing, i.e. they are the bane of the earth. Unfortunately it appears I am soon to belong to both demographics.

Furthermore, there is a high chance that my food commenting would strongly resemble the taste interpretations on Japanese TV, which essentially consist of randomly chosen famous people chewing for a few seconds before making retarded faces and repeating oishii until they start foaming at the mouth and fall over backwards. If I actually manage to cook something up related to ramen tasting, I’ll put up a dedicated page for that. Don’t expect too much, though. It could get boring really fast. For all of us.


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