I don't know what percentage of my previous posts should be in the form of fanposts, but, if I were a scientist, which I am, as well as a philosopher, I would estimate it at at least 57 %.
I really hope that anyone with this much free time, reading this, has first read all the previous installments of of memoirs. This one follows on all the previous ones, including the unfinished stories of the goats and horses. They are terrible animals, really, and far too large to be permitted.
But, this is a story about the dangers of eating things, as a Westerner, that Asians think are perfectly fine. This is about sea cucumbers.
Now, I should set the stage here. There was this old woman that my wife and I were friends with. Her name was Hui Yin (hway in), and she had survived the evacuation of Mainland China after the communist takeover, and had been raped, and abused in all manner of ways. As someone who would like to someday be a writer, I used to encourage her to write down every experience she had, however terrible or heartening, because no one else will have seen the same thing, and anyone else will find something of value in it.
But, she didn't believe me, and now she's dead, along with all her experiences. But I'm not a writer either.
So, about the sea cucumbers. She, Hui Yin, was a vegetarian. She thought that anything called a "cucumber" must be a vegetable. It's also virtually impossible to dissuade old people of any fondly-held beliefs. Just try it with me, and I will hunt you down and kill you (just kidding,NSA).
Sea cucumbers are actually not plants, of course, They are what are called "tunicates," which basically means large, uncircumcised,, marine penises. They are sold in Chinese grocery stores, dried and rubberized, and then people eat them. I ate them once. But, keep in mind, they are a weird kind of animal.
So, there was this dinner that Hui Yin had prepared.
I should briefly explain that I'm from Brooklyn, NY, a white guy, a Swede, and yet, being married to a Chinese, I've eaten shrimp with their heads still on (awful, don't do it), jellyfish (they're fine, just put them in balsamic vinegar), and all manner of other types of organic material. In NY, you learn to eat anything I had relatives that ate the heads of sheep, eyeballs and all. My ancestors ate seals and pigs' feet.
So, Hui Yin gave us this wonderful dinner, which included sea cucumbers.
Now, i'm not a shy fellow, and I pride myself in taking great risks. So, amongst all the dishes, I decided to try the sea cucumber.
To be continued.