Friday, July 1, 2011

Think I'm gonna eat worms

"Here, have one of these."

A small tin and a pair of chop sticks was passed my way. I had just got back from my first day in the office and was now sitting at a table in the communal area of DK House; student dorm-like accommodation specialising in international visitors to Japan. Peering into the tin's contents I saw a series of small curly brown nut-sized objects suspended in water.

"What are they?"

"Silk worms," the girl next to me declared cheerfully. "They're from Korea."

I instinctively dropped the chop sticks. "What do they taste like?"

"You know those things you can sometimes eat ... and afterwards, it feels like your mouth is full of rotting garbage..."

"You're not selling this to me."

Obviously I ate one. Well, how often in your life are you casually passed a tin of silk worms to nibble on? It tasted .... exactly as you might imagine. Even if you didn't look at the curled up little striped bodies, there was really no way from the texture you could pretend you were chewing on a nut. Or rotten garbage. Nope, it was a worm.

I took a large swig of beer and downed a carton of strawberry milk. Amidst the laughter, one of the other girls leaned across the table:

"Welcome to Japan."