It would be 100% accurate to say that I have a serious case of trying to get my shit together-itis. I am generally very self-aware, but the introspection has been next level as of late. There are major aspects of my life experience that I want to refine. If you read my last post, then you know I recently went to Durham, North Carolina to kick off my new “pack-a-bag-and-go” initiative. When I was there, my friend Kwame took me to a Japanese restaurant called, “Kashin” in neighboring city, Cary. Little did he know, he would be having dinner with the most uncultured guy around.
Along with not actually traveling to many places, I haven’t been immersed in foreign cultural experiences within my reach right at home. To put it simply, most of my choices are pretty basic when it comes to food, beverage, activities and even entertainment in some cases.I rolled up to this spot and pronounced it “CASH-INN.” Off bucks, I knew it would be an experience.
I have to take my shoes off?
I wore flip flop shoes during most of my stay in North Carolina. So, when I walked into the restaurant and was greeted by about 15 pairs of shoes, I instantly yearned for my socks that were in my beautiful Airbnb accommodations. Luckily, the patrons that were eating in the traditional style seating were the ones needing to remove their shoes. Someday, I would like to dine that way, but when I’m better prepared.
We’re greeted, seated and given our menus. I go straight for the beverage menu and see Hot Sake (SAH-KAY) at the top of the list. I waste no time to say, “I’m gonna try the “SAH-KEE.” Here I am, thinking I’m doing something right finally. I just remember the episode of Good Times when Florida Evans drank sake at a Japanese restaurant and got lit. I never had hot alcohol before, but I went for it.
Despite how my face looks in the GIF above, I actually liked the Hot Sake. The face came from the initial apple cider vinegary taste it had. After a few seconds I realized it tasted more like warm cognac, which I’m okay with. I didn’t get lit like Florida, but it gave me a pleasant buzz that definitely made it worth trying.
Time to eat…
Choosing what entrée to order wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. I got some suggestions from Kwame and ultimately chose to get the Oyaku-don. In essence, it was a bowl of chicken, onions, egg and rice. It was prefaced with a bowl of Miso Soup. When the server asked if we wanted a fork or chopsticks, Kwame didn’t hesitate to say chopsticks. I on the other hand, asked for both, just in case. The server had no faith in me and said, “the Oyaku-don is easier to eat with a fork, tbh.” Mhmm, okay lady.
The food arrived, I got a quick crash course in chopsticks and I went for it. The Oyaku-don was topped with seaweed, which I had never eaten before. It added an interesting flavor to the bowl, but I had nothing to compare it to. I enjoyed the dish and was successful at using the chopsticks. The server came back through and said, “Ohhh, you’re actually doing it!” She tried it, if you ask me.
Overall, the dish was just missing a kick of flavor. I am the guy who puts Tabasco Pepper Sauce on everything, but I didn’t have it with me this time. The soup was the only thing I didn’t finish, because it had gotten cold and cold soup is no bueno. This experience affirmed what I already knew going into it. I really need to live more. I’ll revisit this in a year and I’ll bet whomever is reading this, I won’t be the most uncultured guy around anymore.