I had a most curious encounter at the checkout of the Japanese supermarket at Liang Court (Singapore) tonight. Trivial as it is, but one of those moments where you think, do I look that much of a beast.
I had just left the 10 year celebration party at Coriander Leaf, under marching orders to be back at the compound by 9pm.
Having been too polite and not made a pig of myself on the nibbles at the party (not my normal etiquette) I decided a couple of Kurobuta Pork chops would be the menu back at base.
As I was paying for my pig, I had to tell the checkout lady twice not to put it in a plastic bag, as in it was already wrapped in plastic and there was hardly any need for a another plastic carry bag.
She did not seem to grasp this at all, looking at me as if I was some sort of Alien form. Not the first time. But her next statement left me somewhat bewildered, handing me the said chops, “Sir, these are raw, you need to cook them.”
There was a moment there where I contemplated opening the wrapping and sinking my teeth in to the chop, however being the gentleman that I am (no swine am I) politely replied, “Yes, I know and think I might cook it when I get home”.
There are a number of theories that could explain this encounter and my checkout ladies reaction:
1/. Declining a plastic carry bag might have been interpreted that I was about to eat it on the spot.
2/. A white guy in loose in a Japanese supermarket is not good, might think he should be eating everything raw, like I was trying my utmost to be Japanese.
3/. I looked so god damn hungry she thought I mistook the said raw chops for cooked ones – assume they sell cooked ones as well – but I did not see any, but she thought I was going to deal to them on the spot.
4/. I look like the sort of bloke that would eat a raw pig anyway; that New Zealand rugged, savage, Neanderthal semblance of barbaric upbringing.
5/. A combination of 3 and 4; a fairly accurate assessment and quick deduction but have given me the benefit of doubt and said something like, “Cook them 1 minute each side”.
On a more positive note, they were delicious, seared to perfection, served with some Spaetzle and cabbage fried in butter, and Dijon mustard on the side. I revisited a Riecine Chianti Classico 2006 that had been in the fridge for months, under winesave, and looked corked when originally opened, but now on song – curious indeed.
Moral of the story – never assume you look normal