Now for those of you who live in Japan and don't just hang out with foreigners and get pissed at izakayas every night, (heeelllllloooo me 5 years ago) you'll be pretty much aware of 'the rules of rice' in Japan, for those of you who don't or are munching down on the fried chicken in an izakaya right now, here they are:
1) The first and most important rule- Japanese rice is the king of rice, it shall not be confused with any other inferior rice such as that in Korea, Thailand and certainly not China *spits in disgust*
2) Rice should be made sticky so that if you drop it, it still sticks together, and to whatever it falls on. If it falls apart it is too dry and resembles above mentioned dirty foreign rice.
3) Japanese rice must be kept pure and not smothered with any condiment. This rule is slightly flexible if the dish is _____ don, For example, steak don is steak dumped on top of the rice.
4) Rice must be eaten with something else, it makes a meal complete, do not attempt to just eat a shitload of rice on its own, accompany it with delicious morsels such as; baked fish (WoooHoooo, eyes and all!), pickled colourful shite, miso soup etc etc.
There are many other rules when it comes to rice, I believe these are the main ones though, please enlighten me if you can think of any others..
Now as clueless foreigners go, I think I'm a pretty good one on Japanesey culturey stuff. I can sit with my legs under me (I am right now in fact), I'm a pro with chopsticks and never stick them in my rice bowl (Oooo there's another rule right there!!), I take my shoes off at the right times (see previous post), and I've learnt to say "summimasen" and "gomennasai" in between sentences to get anything I want (no brackets needed here but I'm a big fan of them tonight so what the hell).
I'm a good foreigner!!! Of course I still yell at sales people occasionally and have been known to drink too much and vomit on a few izakaya toilet floors but that's allll in the past, just call me 'bento girl,' the bento making perfect housewife of the Japanese future!!! (I know there's some nerd out there stealing my idea for a new manga right now.) I wonder how many brackets I really can squeeze into this post...
Now I discovered the other night the reaction that Obaachan gave when Ryota announced that not only had he knocked up his girlfriend of 2 months, but, SHE WAS A FOREIGN!!! AS IN NOT JAPANESE!!!!!! I'm surprised Grandma didn't actually keel over from the shock. But I was told her reaction was something like this:
Ryota: Grandma my girlfriend's knocked up.
Grandma: You stupid fucking twat, what the fuck are we going to do now, who is the dirty little slapper then??
Ryota: Her name is Corinne, she lives in Osaka...
Grandma: Corinne?? CORINNE?? What's her fucking name?? Is that fucking Chinese or something???
Ryota: No, she's Australian.
Grandma: Holy fucking hell, she won't speak a word of Japanese, what the fuck are we going to do now *slaps Ryota's head*
OK, it probably wasn't quite that harsh, but it was pretty close, I'm sure.
So Obaachan expected the worst, and I'm pretty proud to say that I pleasantly surprised her, the whole neighbourhood compliments her on the way her foreign granddaughter is the queen of aisatsu every morning, always puts her rubbish out on time and how good her Japanese is (of course they are judging this from "konnichiwa" so not the best way to judge language skills, but still.) She was also impressed that I could make bento, and listened to her rattle on (although half the time I was just nodding thinking; "what the fuck is she on about...?").
But recently, I've been breaking some rules, some very important rules, yup, you guessed it, I've been breaking some rice rules...
So for those of you living with or close to your in-laws, if they are rice nazis like mine, here are two sure fire ways to piss them off and remind them of your foreign-ness. The first, and very delicious way, is cheese rice. I had this for dinner tonight, much to the in-laws disgust, basically, you take some sacred J-rice, put some soy sauce on top, some mayo and then looooaaadddds of cheese, pop it in the microwave until the cheese is all bubbly and melted, and, you're done! It tastes really fucking good, although breaks all kinds of rice rules. I made a big-arse bowl of it too and had nothing else, so the in-laws were even more shocked and appalled at my dinner. Obaachan even muttered that it was a big waste of rice because I wouldn't be able to taste anything but cheese. Fuck it was good. (The pissing Obaachan off and the rice.)
The second biiiigggg rice rule breaker, is rice pudding. This one pissed the in-laws off even more because I was giving it to Ash too. I should have added another rule that Japanese rice is never to be mixed with anything sweet or anything that resembles a pudding. I tried to explain to them that rice pudding is actually very popular in other countries but they wouldn't have it, just kept saying over and over again that rice does not, has never and will never belong in pudding form. I made SIL try it and she even gagged a little and spat it out, it's freakin rice milk sugar and cinnamon, it's not like I put sulphuric acid in it or anything, although that gives me an idea...
They also made little grimacing faces when I was giving it to Ash, fortunately for me, he loved it and wanted more.
So the perfect, foreign-but-like-Japanese housewife granddaughter dream is dead for Obaachan, but good for me, if I go too Japanese I may start kitchen drinking, making poison curry or something crazy like always putting my husband first. Pffft, nah that'll never happen.
So I say rebel against the rice rules people, try some cheesey rice or have a natsukashi rice pudding in rebellion!!!