Friday, March 13, 2009

semi-anonymous

well, the third presentation is done. yesterday, after i was through with the presentation and a few other morning meetings, i decided that i needed a reward.

i knew exactly what my reward was going to be as well....it was going to be a nice spicy bowl of bun bo hue at kim huong and a copy of wolverine origin. i could feel my spirits begin to lift as i made my way to kim huong in oakland. i grabbed a table, ordered the bowl of bun bo hue, and immediately dove right into wolverine. i had been saving it....

yet, i could feel myself still needing to transition out of "work mode"....and was still thinking about the series of presentations that i made to the US, UK, European, and APAC teams over the past few days. presentations are not easy for me.

i dislike being the center of attention.

"quite the understatement that is." i muttered to myself in my yoda voice.

DH and others who have seen my various presentations over the past few years, don't understand how much work it takes for me to be the center of attention. they think it is incredibly easy for me....and say that they can't imagine me being anything less than confident...and when i say things like, "it isn't easy for me. i practice. a lot.", they think i'm doing some stupid-false-modesty-bullshit-kind-of-thing. when they should remember, that i am not exactly a bullshit kind of person.

i feel the nervousness and the panic swell up inside me and i just want to run and hide. every single fuckin' time. i am also a person that is perfectly happy fading into the background...it is a skill that has worked out quite nicely in my line of work. it is amazing what people will say when they don't notice you are there or they don't perceive you as threat to their business. they should be more careful.

anyway.

as i was pondering this, my bun bo hue arrived.


one of the owners also provided me with some of their in-house chili paste (which isn't exactly traditional...but it is a wonderful addition)


as well as some shrimp paste that i requested....

from my perspective, the shrimp paste is a must...it adds another layer of saltiness...and another taste on the tongue that i would identify as umami.

i began to load up my soup with shredded cabbage, herbs, and chilies....



mixed it around some.....tasted it....


and then added shrimp paste....

as i was going through these motions with my beautiful soup....i was thinking more about my preference for not being the center of attention....and the contradiction that is....because, of...well, the foodie hunter blog. i've been blogging for a year now.....and what a year it has been. yet, the blog puts me in the center of attention and not at the same time. it puts "me" out there...yet, there is only a very small handful of people that actually know what i look like. for such an intensely private person, many loved ones have commented on my willingness to be myself in this blog. it is the "me" and my "voice" that loved ones see...but it is not the "me" that the majority of the world sees.

there is freedom in semi-anonymity.

for the majority of readers (which i still don't get why they visit), i could be anyone. i could be your colleague, your lover, your sibling, your progeny, or the person you pass on the street on the way to work. maybe that is the interest in the blog, a potential sneak peek or a voyeuristic view into a stranger's life. a stranger that is willing to talk about all of their moody contradictions and everyday experiences....through the frame of food.


"jez," i said to myself as i slurped the always wonderful bun bo hue, "i'm here to relax for gad's sake. can't i turn it off for a little while?"


so i turned back to my copy of wolverine and made a concerted effort to clear the head and not think anything beyond my comic book and the loveliness of my spicy and comforting soup. this is one of my favorite soups....and it took me years to find a place that does it exactly they way i like it.

about this time is when one of the owners comes over and strikes up a conversation with "is there a reason why you are sitting in a different place this time?"

"huh?" the oh-so-articulate foodie hunter asks.

"you usually sit over there." he said pointing to another area of the restaurant. "i like watching human behavior and when people come in.... they usually stick to the same place....and you are sitting in a different place this time."

so much for being anonymous and fading into the woodwork. "i was just in a mood for a different view today." i said with a smile.

i thought this was pretty funny...and it got even funnier when i went up to the counter to pay, and the other owner said "you are early today." which was completely true. since i started at 6am, i took an earlier than normal lunch.

as i left kim huong, i just shook my head. i guess i am not as anonymous as i'd like to think i am.

1 comment:

Victoria said...

You are wrong. You most definitely could not be anyone. There is not enough space here to enumerate the reasons why you could not be.