Becoming a Sushi Chef in 30 Seconds

…is now possible!

I’ve been craving sushi a lot over the past few weeks, but due to sketchy rumors of worsening radiation in Japanese seas and a paranoid mother, I haven’t been able to fulfill such cravings. It’s all okay though, because I have a solution: Popin’ Cookin!

One of my favorite things to do in my free time is watch other people cook/play with food. I know, great use of time. But I am subscribed on YouTube to a person who plays with what I call “toy candy,” which is essentially candy that is more fun to make than to eat. Popin’ Cookin is a brand that makes “toy candy.” All of their products look pretty fun to make, but one of them in particular gets me everytime–I can’t help but be amazed. It allows you to “become your own sushi chef,” which should be incredibly simple in theory, but the little details are just incredible. Here it is:

Tell me you weren’t mindblown when the fish eggs were being made (2:15).

But that got me wondering, what does it take to be a sushi chef? You never quite see sushi chefs do much more than slice up fish (though in a very professional manner), and it doesn’t seem like much. But the truth is, it can take upwards of 10 years to become a real sushi chef (at least, in Japan).

Some time ago, I came across a trailer of the movie “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” a documentary on the life of  Jiro Ono, who is considered the “greatest sushi chef in the world.” A hefty title, is it not? But even after watching a single trailer, I got a sense of how great this guy was. You can watch it here:

And then I thought about his son–how difficult it must be to live under such pressure. “He has to be twice as good to be equal–that’s how influential his father is.” It made me think, what if he didn’t want to be a sushi chef? Would it have mattered? What if he hated sushi?

It’s only natural for us to be influenced by our parents. They are the ones raising us, so naturally they have the right to guide us through life. But I think at some point, it gets restrictive. No, I don’t want to take ballet lessons–or piano lessons, tae kwon do lessons, abacus lessons, or violin lessons. The only problem is, when is it okay to say No? And do our parents listen anyway?

I’ve found that the majority of people (within my classmates, at least) have found that manner of their parents suffocating. In some ways, I agree; they don’t always listen to your opinion. But I find that this is only because they want the best for you. For example, my mom always used “you’ll thank me later” as a reason for making me take up various activities. She “forced” me through piano lessons and Chinese school for my entire life, totalling to more than 10 years for both. Begrudgingly, I finished them the last levels of each activity, but I was so concentrated on not wanting to do them that I never exactly put my heart into them. That was the problem. Retrospectively, every fit of frustration I had wasn’t all that reasonable–I expected to be good at things that took time and more than just a few tries to master.

Now,  I regret not taking the chances I had. It’s only now that I realize what my mom meant when she said “it’ll help you in the future.” Whenever I listen to others play incredibly beautiful, yet complicated pieces of music, I am inspired to play them myself–but I find that I never have the concentration or skill to play them as fluently as I would like to. And whenever I watch TV shows in Chinese, I wish I could do without subtitles.

There were so many times when I threatened to quit everything, and my parents didn’t listen. But I think that was good for me. There wasn’t a lot of harm done to me; instead, I am thankful that I am at least somewhat proficient in the activities that I took up.
Sometimes, though, I think about the things that I could have done instead–what I would have done if there wasn’t my mother’s hand guiding me.

What do you think about this habit of parents? How much did it affect you?

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