Opinion and Editorial

How to eat sushi while standing in the lift

Nivriti Butalia
Filed on July 23, 2017 | Last updated on July 23, 2017 at 09.43 pm

Bourdain, who disses a whole bunch of things (and I still always want to know the next thing he disses), says some stuff about eating sushi.

Between Anthony Bourdain - a chef everyone, I imagine, has heard of - and another less famous gentleman on Twitter, Grant Harrold (@TheRoyalButler), I've learnt manners to last me till the year 2020.

Bourdain, who disses a whole bunch of things (and I still always want to know the next thing he disses), says some stuff about eating sushi. It's a clip I just saw called six cardinal rules of eating sushi. These things end up being watched no matter how many deadlines are hovering quite close to your neck.

"Do NOT make a slurry with all the wasabi and soya sauce," the instruction goes. What?! I do this all the time. I love doing this. What's the fun otherwise? "You should taste your fish first." Some more tips. "Do NOT say loudly: 'This sushi is SO fresh, dude'. Just don't be that guy."

Ha! The casting is very good for this sushi-so-fresh-dude guy. He reminded me of at least two dorks (adorable guy in the movie Hunterrr on Netflix, and the other in real life, someone I can't stand, unfortunately a FB friend).

Just the other night, I made a mistake at an Asian-Mexican restaurant of ordering the recommended desert. Some ghastly 'ice cream sushi' turned up, all gelatinous and no fun, reminding me of an offering back in the day from Kwality Walls' Biki Max. Ice cream biscuit. Biki Max used to be peddled outside my math tuition centre, on one Purvi Marg, at one-35th the price, naturally, of what this rubbish desert sushi was being plated up for. But why get into that. At least nobody said, this ice cream sushi is so fresh, dude. Anthony Bourdain would have whipped us.

There were other pointers in that video of sushi cardinal rules: stay away from lame pan-Asian places, being one. Don't order California roll, being another. Got it! And mayo, he says, has no business being near raw fish. I liked what he said about choosing the right place: "make good decisions." Felt all charged up for about half a minute. The Royal Butler is the other class act. Grant Harrold. I love him. His are feeds I look forward to. Heartening stuff, unlike say, what Smriti Irani and Trump keep banging on about. So bore!

The Royal Butler tweets nuggets on how to lead a life less exhausting for the nerves of others. He's all about consideration. So during Modi's US visit, when Modi engulfed Trump in a Modi-sized hug, The Royal Butler tweeted how you never do that. A handshake for official purposes is quite enough. Bear hugs? Dear lord!

The other day, he put up this delightful post about elevator etiquette. Where people should stand if there are three people in the lift, or five, or seven? If five, everyone retreat to extreme corners, one stays in the middle. If seven, three line up right in front, near the door, two in the middle, two at the back. Basically, stop inconveniencing others with your lousy, space-taking stance. Everyone should face the exit, of course. If the lift is packed, take the next one, or walk.

I think I'll tweet to him to ask about greeting etiquette in lifts. Why do some people not smile or say hello? Is the onus on the person getting in or the one already in? Courtesy brightens days and here we are lashing each other with black paint and slime. Pity.

Check out some of his other glorious tweets. I picked a few that made me happy: "Please remember that it is good manners to remove sunglasses when having a conversation or going indoor."

"When on the telephone, it is essential to inform the other person if you have them on speaker, particularly if others are present! #phone"

"When trapped in a conversation from which we wish to escape, simply say 'It was a pleasure talking to you, please do excuse me for a moment'."

Someone please try this, at work preferably. I would want to be a fly on the wall for that, and watch eyebrows of, say, your colleague shoot through the roof, witness the grimace being concealed. As a well-mannered fly, I would take up minimal space, and do this, of course, with sunglasses off - basic courtesy.



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