There’s a bit I particularly love in the Starsky and Hutch movie and that’s where Hutch tells a Chinese guy that ‘you all look the same to us, Orientals’. It makes me laugh every time I see it (and smile every time I think of it) because it is so politically incorrect that I cannot help but loving it. The movie may be as recent as 2004, but it is a part throw-back, part-homage to the seventies where people could refer to others as black or white or indeed Orientals without raising eyebrows all across the room (and the one next door and the one next door to that). Try and do that today and a bloody monsoon of air sucked through gritted teeth will gently waft you all the way to the HR office.
I am going through an Oriental Period. I am mixing Japanese with Chinese with Thai and before someone tells me that they are not all orientals, well, they are all the same to me, as Hutch says. I picked plentiful Japanese books from the library recently and now spend my evenings immersed in talk of sashimi, salmon, fish markets, sushi, tempura and so on. I know it is a little peculiar for someone who is a vegetarian; Japanese cuisine is awash with flapping fish, but equally with soya and I love soya. I love soya beans, I love tofu and I love all declensions in between. As is often the case, I have already plunged purse-first into this new passion. I forked out on a sushi set that should allow me to relatively effortlessly roll cucumber, egg and avocado sushi as the miso soup is steeping away. And now more than ever I wish my Japanese friend still lived with me. Watch this space for recipes to come.