013: The Way To Their Heart Is Through Their Stomach

013: The Way To Their Heart Is Through Their Stomach

A Chapter by SDMcCarty

Living abroad holds many problems. One is eating. What do you do when you just need to eat something that you can pronounce?

            If you’ve ever lived abroad, there is one thing you know to be true.  Think about that time you spent away from family, friends, and everything that was familiar to you before.  At first, the desire to see friends and family is there, but that slowly fades.  Maybe it’s quickly replaced with the desire to actually be able to do simple things you used to be able to, like read those stupid ads that are posted all over the place.  But, the one that lasts, the one that puts you almost over the top with a desire to return is food.  Food - something so simple, and yet so profound.  Even bad take-out is missed in the middle of a prolonged stay in a foreign country.  Right now, I’m in that spot.  Luckily I’m a chef.

            To be truthful, I became a chef so I’d never be in that spot where I couldn’t get something that at least resembled the taste of home.  That career path, despite what my parents said, wasn’t a bad choice.  I’ve lived in many different countries, cooking my way across Europe.  Now I’m in Asia.  Japan, to be precise.  I like it here.  The taste of the food is very different from what I’m used to.  It’s a good change I had thought.

I’m now working at an Italian restaurant.  I studied in Italy for about 2 years.  My Japanese is non-existent, but food speaks for itself.  It’s a language in and of itself.  Luckily most of the staff know enough English for the simple things and the menu has the names of the food in English, so it’s not too hard to work here.  I’m the chief chefs assistant.  That’s the only difficult part.  He tries to give advice, but I can’t understand it.  Somehow we can communicate so it’s not the worst.

Last week a big party came in.  I had to serve them since they were special guests of the chefs.  His friends apparently.  There was a foreigner there.  She was beautiful.  I was struck at first glance.  I almost burned a chicken breast.  The chef noticed and helped me out.  He took me over " after saving the chicken " and introduced me.  She spoke perfect Japanese.  I was amazed.  We talked for a little while.  The chef and I were at work so we couldn’t talk too long, but it was nice to speak to someone who spoke English fluently.

The next day she came back.  We talked more then.  The restaurant wasn’t so busy, so I could take some time to speak with her.  We decided to meet the next day.  As far as I was concerned, it was a date.  Hopefully she felt the same way.

We met at a coffee shop.  We talked for hours.  I told her about my dream to open a restaurant - one that served down-home cooking.  She laughed and said that she’d love to be a taste-tester for the menu.  One thing led to another and we went to my place and made dinner.  I hadn’t been that nervous cooking in years.

Sitting down to eat, I felt my heart in my throat.  I watched her eat nervously.  My heart melted when she made a face that told me that she loved it.

We spent the next few months talking and eating.  She helped me find some people to open the restaurant.  Now I’m living my dream in broken Japanese.  Everyday I do a job that I love, and can eat the food that I used to crave whenever I chose.

Last week the girl and I were married.  I love my life " bad Japanese, good cooking, and a woman I love.  I’d like to think that I found my way into her heart through he stomach.

© 2010 SDMcCarty

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Added on May 8, 2010
Last Updated on May 8, 2010
Tags: Eating, Food, Love, Stomach, Cooking, Abroad, Foriegn



Sendai-shi, Japan

I started writing more seriously just a little while ago (about a month or so), so I am not terribly good yet. However, I do enjoy writing, so I'll continue to try! I enjoy fantasy works, and I also.. more..