The world of bluefin tuna, while diminishing, is a lens into the culture and ethics of fishing; it also reflects a nation’s history. Within all this, of course, are two questions: First, how did this fish go from being low-grade cat food to the most expensive fish in the world? And why can’t we stop eating it?
The next word in the title phrase is known to all. This weekend it was triggered by coffee. Kaldi coffee, specifically, for which a great love has developed within me. You see, my supply of mildly roasted ‘Precious Beans of 100 Years Old Coffee Tree’ was exhausted, so I was relegated to the under-the-counter jar of Nescafé Excella (it’s soluble!). All in all, the Excella is a passable cuppa insofar as freeze-dried instant varieties go. The problem, the jarring shock, is that Kaldi had thoroughly ruined me. It had informed me of heights sublime.
Perhaps the temporal proximity of the two quaffing experiences accentuated the disappointing effect of cup number two, but the damage was done and led to a questioning regret for ever having tried Kaldi in the first place. In all likelihood, I would be at least generally appeased by the Excella, had not the apple of knowledge been within my purview. I knew, and more damningly had tasted, the superior.
How could I have allowed my bliss to be so devastated? Does even the banality of the whole ‘ignorance is bliss’ phrase cry out for suspension of belief regarding its nature? A tired axiom, demonstrating by example the level of its fatigue? Its truth is certainly not in question. Living in Japan, I fear that the concept of sushi elsewhere has been ruined for all time. A special holiday sunday brunch (and the view) at Top of the Mark on the rooftop of the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco causes others to fall, crashing down to pedestrian level. The electric excitement of Hong Kong at night leaves lesser realms in an eco-friendly brown-out. Spain. Tapas. Ad nauseam, this could be.
Would it not be better for all parties concerned if happiness, once obtained, could be constricted to simply encompass that which is within immediate view, without pondering what may lie beyond distant horizons? While I don’t regret the mind-expanding experiences that have passed me by, a part of me feels a tinge of melancholy to be always in a state of qualitative comparison.
As I write this, sipping of the replenished supply of roasted foreign fruit (‘Café Andes’ this time around), I implore you not to let me know of anything better.