Dancing Fish By Lindy Schneider

The restaurant chosen by our hosts, three rounded Japanese business distributors, has a classic Tatami room, fabulously expensive and noted for its strict adherence to traditional custom and ritual. Apparently the food was supposed to be pretty good too. As the only woman in the party, I am afforded a discrete amount of respect, notwithstanding it is highly unusual for a woman, of my age and from Australia, to be included in a business mans lunch. ‘You like Sushi?’ says my Japanese colleague, Yas. ‘Yes, of course.’ I say, because I do. A woman shuffles into the room, weighted down by her heavy kimono, and places a large platter directly in front of me. Four smiling faces motion to me to begin. I pick up my chopsticks and lean forward, doing my best impersonation of someone who has used these utensils many times. This is the biggest, freshest tuna fish I have ever seen in my life. Fillets have been sliced from its side, rearranged into rosettes and ribbons and placed decoratively back onto the fish. Chopsticks poised, all eyes upon me, I am about to select a juicy morsel when all of a sudden …the fish starts jumping on the plate. I recoil so suddenly I topple backwards over the cushion I have been sitting on and crash into the bamboo and rice paper tatami wall behind me. ‘It alive, Miss Lindy,’ says Yas in his best high school English. ‘We call…dancing fish.’ ‘Delicious,’ I say, recovering my composure, ‘pass the wasabi.’


in Tokyo, Japan

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Lindy Schneider is a freelance writer and editor with the courage to make a story real. She writes articles, blogs and books and everything in between. You can read more about Lindy on her website.

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