A Day Unwasted

This was how my day went. Monotonous as ever. Woke up. Bathed. Got ready. Work. School.

I had two topics lined up for the day, and then I met a very dear friend and she talked about …. food.

We were having an honest conversation over dinner, well, technically she was the only one eating in the group, but you get the point anyway so… back to the matter at hand.

My friend, E, along with her younger sister and cousin, met up so they could all go home together. I had nothing left to do for the night, so I decided to tag along. We wound up at a local fastfood chain that sold fried chicken nearby and as we chatted about minorities in life, we somehow got to the topic of … food. See, her sister – and her cousin, were representatives for their school in a cooking contest and they had their training that very same day.

E: She’s living my dream.

Me: Hah! You remind me of someone. And uhm… you could maybe say she will someday be a female version of Anthony Bourdain.

E: (glares at me)

Me: What? You started it. (laugh)

Then, came the introductions. Too late, really, we were already in the middle of a conversation.

So, whilst my friend E was munching her chicken all the while managing to coax her younger siblings that I am an awesome writer and an amazing person and asking them how their day had went and if they had somehow tasted what they had cooked, her sister’s response made us all stop and think for a while. (Or maybe just me, I guess). What had transpired then, was a conversation that made me want to write about it.

E: Did you taste your cooking, then?

Sister: Yeah. We cooked fried rice, and had salad for a side dish, too. And uhm… I don’t know, is it always that with “bangus” (milkfish), it kinda taste’s bland? You always have to add in more seasoning?

E stopped eating, and I remember thinking, “she has a loooong explanation for this”.Surprisingly, her explanation had me thinking, because it was so spot on.

E: You know, chef’s taste buds are a lot different than ours. Just look at how Gordon Ramsay judges food in Master’s Chef.

She then went on about how a chef would taste all the ingredients of a dish and its texture, the adelante, further commenting on how a bitter taste could linger in their mouths even longer than in others.

E: Are you understanding me? Do you understand me?

She seemed to have taken our silence for not understanding her, when in fact, we were. Yes, we did understand. To add, she cited how in most fast food chains, even though the food tastes ‘great’ and is popular for the masses, its sense of being ‘food’ or the ‘food’ in it is gone.

“Nawala na iyang pagka-food, bitaw.”

This conversation, though about food, may be equated to life in general. What kind of food do you eat? DO you eat what is popular and eaten by most people in society? Or do look for something else in the dish? That certain something you can’t quite place but you just got to taste. Be it adventure, true love, success, anything else for that matter. What started out this conversation on food was a very honest conversation about me having my own blogging site, and how I convinced and introduced E to this amazing world. It started with me sharing stories about me meeting a lot of people in a short span of time and knowing more of them than that what they choose to tell even their closest friends because they somehow think that “virtual” reality is not “reality” – that because a screen separates them from their receiver, they can be truly free and honest in their conversations. Then came the thought that in our country, everything is of a big deal, how everything must be equated to love for people to fully comprehend the concept. How if we say Hi to someone from a foreign country, they see it just that – a person saying Hi, but here, if one says hi, most especially virtually, a lot of things just come to mind and a lot of things get concluded on the spot. What started as an honest conversation about things said virtually, and things said in person, led to food … and it got me thinking about my recent post on pretentions because of society dictating us. We live in a society that dictates us on how we must be in order to fit in and it is, for lack of a lesser term, idiotic. Taboos are set because of morals set by society that we wind up pretending. We lose the essence of  our ‘food’. We lose ‘us’.

I’d like to say we will soon move past this. That this is just a phase we are all trying to get out of. That someday, someone will finally say, “Hey, you know what? I don’t care what society tells us to do, I am doing what I know is right and I am willing to take the risk and suffer the consequences.” And there are times when I am like, “Nah. That day will not probably come. But it would be a nice thing to imagine though – not having a status quo.”

Our food conversation started sort of like a meet and greet kind of thing, but now I sit on my bed and ponder about pretentions, society, suppressed morals and values, idiotic, taboos, and risk.

A fellow blogger, and a lover of Anthony Bourdain and has also posted a quote from the book Kitchen Confidential, that goes: I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk.

I love fastfood. I love their taste, even though bland and monotonous at times – but hey, that’s just how it is sometimes. Sometimes you crave for an adventure, and sometimes, you just want to chill and eat whatever is served on the platter. But my thrill for adventure leads me someplace else. I like to taste exotic, foreign food, all the same (except vegetables, sorry) and like talking to friends about how there’s a new restaurant nearby we should check out some time. My lust for the unknown is overwhelming I will choose a dish I have not tasted before than something I know for a fact, would leave me wanting more. Only two things could happen, then. One, I love this new discovery. Or I waste a precious sum of money.

Which dish would you choose?

For E: E, thanks for yet another night full of laughter. This is the first night we haven’t had tea and still chatted for longer than an hour. I look forward to more conversations.

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