jorge's library

Sushi and Being Single

My friend Maria came up with this great analogy about love, life and sushi, as we sat on stools waiting at our favorite kaiten-zushi bar in Shibuya.


“Waiting for the right man is just like eating at kaiten-zushi,” she declared, Its always an adventure.”


Too deep or too raw (forgive the pun) for you to dig? Let me elaborate.


Imagine yourself sitting on one of those stools in front of a bar where a mini conveyor belt parades small plates of sushi in front of you. The colors of the plates are indicative of the prices of the sushi, so proceed with caution! (How I wish life was color-coded too) The time spent waiting for something to whet your appetite varies; sometimes it takes ages for something to show up and you’re fidgeting in anticipation (and hunger), and there are times when everything comes all at once and you never know which one to pick and everything seems to pass in a blur. Life analogy: Lets face it: there are always times in a woman’s life that she feels like Venus de Milo, with men dangling left and right; yet there are times when she feels like a regular Jane Doe whom no one really knows or cares about.


Back to the sushi on parade; its funny how the grossest looking sushi almost always turns out to be the best tasting ones, while the ones you expected to be sugoi (amazing) turn out to be mama (so-so). It’s also interesting how we often judge people by their appearances; but when you summon the courage to put that slimy, smelly piece of raw whatever-it-is into your mouth, you can be in for a pleasant surprise! Likewise, there are times when you expect too much from an elegantly presented dish only to make a quick trip to the nearest toilet.


If you’re not feeling too adventurous, you can just stick with plain old ebi (shrimp) sushi. You can anticipate what it’s going to taste like anyway, so at least you wont be disappointed. But what’s the thrill in doing something you’re so used to? Being safe can be so square!


Egged on by our earlier remark, you may feel a bit more adventurous and brace yourself to try the flashier unagi, toro or uni sushi. Your decisions tend to be a bit rash however, and you select based on aesthetics: color, appearance and presentation. Chances are you will get one of those thingies with the sauce. But as my friend Johanna said, “Beware the sauce. It only means it isn’t good enough as it is, and that’s why they have to dress it up with sauce.” So true.


Then comes one of those tamago (egg) rolls, that you kind of pass over because they look so common; I mean, what’s so mystifying about a roll of scrambled egg? But whoa, those are some of the sweetest things you could pass up.


Of course there will always be octopus sushi that you can go on chewing forever and yet, still nothing happens. One good piece of advice: Get rid of it. If you’re waiting for something spectacular, believe me, it isn’t going to happen. So if you’re waiting for your man to make himself over for you, let go of those illusions and drop the pa-martyr effect. Please. Get real. Leave the telenovelas to Juday and Claudine.


One realization that really struck me is that waiting for the right man is very much like eating at kaiten-zushi, something (or someone) will always come along whether you like it or not, but its always up to you whether to take it or leave it. What goes around doesn’t always come around; what you don’t want, others may covet. But there’s always something for everybody.


As an attendant tallied up our bill, I wondered if this is what it’ll all come to in the end; facing someone with a tally of what we had accomplished in our life. I just hope that by that time, I’d have had my fill and that I would have been satisfied with the adventure. We always will have to take a chance in life. Its what living is all about: Making mistakes, learning from them, and thus choosing more wisely.


By the end of the meal, our stomachs were all full and we were happy about the analogies we had made. It made us feel braver to think that we were just a few of the trillion people who had braved the wait and eaten at a kaiten-zushi bar. Because in the end, we’re all subject to the wait; we’re all in anticipation of what God in His kitchen will dish up for us.




First published November 2001, Youngblood, Philippine Daily Inquirer


Republished January 2002, Silangan Shimbun



  • Current Mood: calm it can happen to you!!!
wow, great analogy.brilliant, caryn!
i never would have thought of it that way.
hahaha! salamay odette! actually the credit goes to my canadian friend, johanna. we were all just sitting there when she had this brainwave. hehehe.
OMG!!! Ryn-ryn! This is brilliant!! I love it!! Do you mind if I post a link to this post in my page??? Totally relate ako. May fresh chika ako sa yo hehehehe - melbita
wow! biglang nabago ang pagtingin ko sa sushi dahil sa analogy. pero paano yun. I don't like eating in sushi bars. does that mean I'm destined not to even have a taste of what the menu offers? kawawa naman ako, he he.

and you're a "youngblooder" too? I'm a part of Youngblood 2.0.
tsk. dapat ngayon pa lang, kumain ka na pre. hahaha! you don't know what you're missing. madaming magandang waitress dun! hahaha!
hey! i checked my book; andun ka nga! p.198! ako p.21 ata; hehehe. were you at the launch at megamall? sign mo copy ko! aliw naman.
sorry, that was me, r-yo. ang hirap naman kasi mag comment sa live journal, heheh
If God were the chef, he would prepare grilled fish and boiled rice on banana leaves for me - that is, if I waited patiently enough. But then again, he could just throw me some fish and chips, if he thinks I wasn't good enough while waiting. Either way, I still have food.

So. Life is just about perspective. Like food, it's about taste and presentation.

Jesus, this article made me 'think'!

wahahaha! some of the analogies were indeed far-fetched, but hey, whatever cathes your attention. heehee.
I was rambling, wasn't I?

totally true! galing ng analogy! my husband and i loves eating at Yo!Sushi, so I can kinda relate about the anticipation/waiting/etc. although hindi na ako single, i've had my time of feeling Venus de Milo and being a regular Jane Doe as you've said.

hi chung! hehehe. talagang may dumadaan na ganyang pagkakataon sa buhay ng tao no? pero sana yung venus de milo part forever! hahahah! pero at least you've made your choice ;-) goodluck to you!
Hi Caryn

Thanks for the comment you left on my blog. It's nice to know people who understands your feelings.

By the way, your comparison with waiting for the right guy and eating at kaiten-zushi makes perfect sense. I enjoyed this post.

Take care! =)
better than Forrest Gump
excellent writing, caryn! and a much more interesting analogy than forrest gump's "life's like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you're gonna get" ;)

Re: better than Forrest Gump
thanks mimi! naks. so (love)life is like waiting at a kaiten sushi bar... medyo mahaba no? hahaha! ang saya!
hi caryn - is it true that women dream of being venus de milo with men dangling left and right? akala ko kasi if you're venus de milo, the only thing dangling left and right are your prosthetic hands.

you write very well, hija.
wahahahah! very witty ... and true! hahaha! nice rebuttal to my figure of speech. hehehe.

thanks! and goodluck to you!
Taking risks = Life

"But there’s always something for everybody." -- so true!! naniniwala ako dito na na anjan lang sa tabi tabi ang prince ko haha! nasan ka na ba kasi! hahahah! ;P

sabi nga ni God, "stop wishing. stop planning. I will give you the best love story ever". - God, nandito lang ako, maniniwala sa yo. :)
nice artik again, walang kupas!

pero pwede rin naman na you take charge kapag ang tagal dumating ng hinintay mo, sa case ko nga i said, "Amaiebi, onegai shimasu.." ^_^ maganda itsura, masarap pa..
Re: comment
uy salamat!

actually ako ebi at tamago ang lagi kong habol, sometimes maguro din. i usually ask fo it kapag matgal na. (simple din ang taste ko sa sushi. funny thing is, i usually eat it without juls kasi he's not too fond of sushi. hehehe)

tama nga ano, you CAN ask for it ;-)