greetings Earthlings. My name is John. I'm writing this message from my office at Alliant International University. The school mascot is a lion, and the name of this building is "The Roar". So basically, I hold down the fort and get paid to watch movies, play pool / ping pong, practice the piano at the student lounge. I am super blessed.
Eventually I realized that Tower 23 was not for me. Yeah, the location was great, and the fish was very fresh, but I didn’t want to work with Krab (AKA Russian Pollock) or Spicy Tuna. The eel sauce had High Fructose Corn Syzurp, so I set out to find a job at an authentic Japanese Sushiya.
Matsu Gawa means Tree River. To the owner, this meant that Jacob was like a tree planted next to a river. I thought to myself, Christian Sushi. TIGHT! The chef's name was Azuma. I witnessed this man turn a carrot into a butterfly. Washing dishes was delicate because the plates were art too, but required speed and timing be cooking and cleaning. When Azuma took his cigarette break we would exchange a few words. <<nanto imas ka beautiful?>> <<anatawa kirei des.>> One time he told me of when he was my age.
Azuma-san studied at college in Japan during the 70’s and worked in the evenings at the local sushi spot. He recalled on an occasion serving food to a professor, who asked him 'Do you know where daikon (radish sprouts) come from?'. Azuma learned that this plant was not native to Japan, but introduced through the Silk Road, an ancient trade route extending from Rome to China and Japan. When his professor invited him to travel to Italy, him and a friend accepted the challenge. Such began an adventure by plane to China, and by car through Afghanistan to Italia. They stopped along the road and worked in people’s yards for food and a place to sleep. When he finally arrived in Rome, he bought leather shoes. <<come si dice? le scarpe>> That was the end of the story, and he laughed to think about how nice the shoes were.
He was way cool people, so I accepted the role of short order cook and dishwasher. I could barbeque a mean Hamachi Kama, but after two weeks of working the deep fryer I decided that my adventures in sushi had taught me enough. The California fusion had surpassed the rigidity of the traditional. As a personal trainer, I needed to find a healthier work environment.
So… I got a job in the kitchen at Casa Palmera. It is a skilled nursing facility primarily for women with anorexia, bulimia nervosa, depression and chemical dependency. What more powerful way to touch the lives of starving people than to cook for them. I was reminded of Chef Carter “Smile, it makes the food taste better.” And it did. My firecracker strawberries brightened the days of some the ladies, but it was really my presence and dedication to excellence that gained their favor. Eventually the owners caught word that I was a personal trainer and practiced taichi. I was offered a salary position, where I worked also running errands for the family who ran the hospital. I held a straight face as my boss handed me the keys to his Mercedes Benz S500, and I was sent to get groceries and dry cleaning. At the time I was living a mile and a half down the street, and rode my bike to and from work. It was much fun, but there was serious problems with the program, and I gave up. I made an agreement with one of the patients to wait until she was discharged. I chose to move back home with the family, go back to school and work part-time as an international concierge. Now, I get paid to kick it. I also take groups of students on hikes around San Diego, and even took them on a paintball excursion once. Here is me doing my thang.
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