Saturday, March 23, 2013

It was her pumpkin tempura that first caught my eye.

I was at the sushi bar next to two older women, Girl Scout leaders who were just coming back from a regional meeting. They had elected their district leaders and all the political hoopla had left them famished so they came right away for some sushi. The older one, who was next to me, had ordered too much food.

I didn't realize how much food this was going to be,” she apologized to the sushi chef, who was busily clapping out sushi for the lunch crowd. I love the sound it makes when they dip their hands in the salt water and then clap their hands together, then grab another bit of rice and pat it into shape. “You went to all this trouble to make it for me,” she said. He shook his head, as if to say that she shouldn't worry about it.

I looked at that pumpkin tempura and thought what a win-win this could be. She was too full to eat it, but she didn't want to insult the sushi chef by leaving it on her plate. I wanted the tempura but had already ordered something else.

She looked at me, looked at the tempura and said, “Please, if you'd like it, go ahead.” 

Good grief, how had she known? I looked hesitantly at the tempura. “Really please, I don't want it to go to waste,” she said.

I did a quick risk analysis, a habit I have never shaken after my days as a program manager in high tech.

How likely was it that she had sneezed on her food before I got there? Not impossible, I guess.

How likely was it that I would pick up some other germ if I ate this pumpkin? Sort of likely but then again I also have a very strong immune system.

How likely is it that pumpkin tempura tastes awesome? VERY LIKELY!

I hesitated for a few polite seconds before finally scooping the tempura over to my plate. 

“Put some salt on it,” she instructed. “It makes the sweetness of the pumpkin come out.” I did as she said - there is enough of a Girl Scout left in me to follow instructions from a leader. “But not too much!” she said. I stopped apparently before a salt disaster occurred.

These lovely ladies went on to tell me about their adventures with the Girl Scouts. They had recently returned from a trip to Korea with four scouts. The trip was ten days, and then they came home and were so tired they slept for two weeks straight.

It was such a pleasant little chat. We laughed about Girl Scouts and cookies and Korean food. The sushi chef listened to our chatter as he continued to fill lunch plates for the crowd. The world was a friendly place where smiles were bountiful, where food was shared among strangers and where conversation flowed freely. 

And that pumpkin tempura was every bit as good as I thought it would be.  It really was a win-win.


usha.digitalinfo said...
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usha.digitalinfo said...
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