You'd think I'd learn. Excuse me while I pick up a large piece of timber ... you'd think (whack!)... I'd (whack!) ... bloody-well (whack!) ... learn (whack!).
One of the problems we face living in Tokyo is that it is really hard to get a bad meal. No, I mean it - almost without exception, one can walk in off the street to almost any restaurant and get a decent meal. From almost any cuisine (see one example of bad food), at almost any time of day, and usually at a reasonable price.
That's not the case in many other parts of the world, at least many parts of the civilized world. And while I've always thought of Sydney as being delightfully uncivilized, I find myself amazed at my own stupidity and sheer lack of pleasant aforethought.
Any normal person would have found their way to the little restaurant next door for a quick blue swimmer crab omelet, or some fresh whiting. Not this goose - I wandered off into Chinatown thinking some fried rice or stir-fried vegetables would be nice after travelling for 24 hours from Michigan.
And then - oh the thought bring tears to my eyes and cramps to my stomach - I hear a cute little "irrashaimase" and thoughts of sour plums danced in my head. "Ah, Japanese, that'll hit the spot". I am ashamed to say I fell for this Edo-esque temptress. Appalling (is there any way to get another "paw" syllable in there?) nonsense served with all the aplomb of a Sumo wrestler by a crew that neither spoke Japanese or cooked it.
Udon that tasted like boiled haggis shreds (strange, the chef ... let me rephrase that, the cook ... didn't look Scottish), gyoza that had been fried into nuclear waste material, long-grain rice that didn't quite stick together, and the ultimate irony - kimchi. Kimchi is not Japanese, doesn't sound Japanese, and doesn't taste Japanese.
It's quite simply beyond me why this all happened. Maybe it's jet lag, maybe it's age, but it's definitely stupidity. Learn from my mistakes - ask the concierge, find a well-known restaurant nearby, and enjoy something local delivered fresh that morning!