Last night I was one spoonful away from eating monkey brain soup. Apparently me eating it was a test of courageousness and honor. If I were to pass the test, I’d be well on my way to becoming a hero or sorts, capable of defeating even my worst enemies (who, by the way, I’ve never even met). So late last night there I sat next to my brother, Daniel, both of us with big 1/2 gallon sized bowls of monkey brain soup staring us in the face, wondering what we’d gotten ourselves in to.
Let’s rewind about 4 hours. Daniel and I were hauled more-or-less against our will by a dozen people to a bizarre underground house/kitchen/restaurant place. I say ‘more-or-less’ because a part of me was rather curious as to where they were taking us in such a hurry. When we arrived, we entered what looked like a mud hut, but we immediately took a long flight of stairs downward to a large dining area. The furniture was a healthy balance between my old university’s chemistry lab, an urban Swedish home, and a Victorian ranch house. Wow. Someone call the decorator.
We sat on posh wooden chairs that had maybe 3 inches padding; they weren’t especially comfortable, and the backs arched a little too far inward to make me want to sit back. Forced etiquette I guess. The metal ‘laboratory’ table was a little too tall for me, but perfect for Daniel. Touching it chilled my fingers, and resting my arms on it was out of the question. Our chef and waitress (who eerily reminded me of the evil witch in Snow White) first brought us out a dainty salad topped with croutons and finely sliced cucumbers. The salad looked so normal, it was out of place.