This morning, I was feeling much much better. Night and DAY better. I could breathe through a nostril, and I didn't feel as though a small miner was trying to bash his way out through the inside of my forehead. In short, I was on the mend. I went to class, went home, went to work, worked, and headed home to dinner ready to celebrate feeling better.
On my way out of the office, the security guard had some sushi from the market down the street. Oooh, that looks good, I thought. She told me it tasted great and, best of all, it was CHEAP. Since my wife has been incredibly busy with classes and work recently and I knew I'd be eating alone tonight, I stopped by on my way back to my apartment. That's right, while my wife's life is insanely hectic, my life is great (sorry Nicole!) - I live close enough to the office that I can ride my bike home to eat dinner AND stop by the sushi market on the way. To be fair, I've been doing a TON of chores around the house the past couple of days. Pretty much everything, including all of the dog responsibilities, so that she can really buckle down and do well on all her stuff. I'm not a total slacker just because I only have one class. Oh, and I had a Biochem exam on Monday morning, which may not have gone that well...
Anyway, as I perused the sushi that they had available, I realized they didn't have my "normal" (I get sushi maybe twice a year) order of spicy tuna rolls. When I get spicy tuna, it's not really that spicy - maybe a 5 or 6 out of 10. But, like I said, they didn't have any. Time to try something new, I thought. Hah! If only I knew! I looked through the ingredients on the available sushi variants, discarding the salmon roll, the california roll, and the spicy shrimp roll, finally settling on the Hawaiian roll pictured above. I thought it looked nice and tangy, maybe like a barbecue flavor with a bit of a kick or something. This is what I read from the label:
Ingredients: Cooked rice (white rice, water), tuna (treated with carbon monoxide to promote color retention), cucumber, avocado, vinegar (high fructose corn syrup, grain vinegar, rice vinegar, salt, brown sugar)...
And on and on it went. Little did I know that if I had read just one ingredient longer, I would have read wasabi sauce. But I didn't. I thought, Oooh, brown sugar, that looks great! and trundled on my merry, unsuspecting way home.
Here is where I have to tell you something about myself. I don't spend money easily, but when I do I tend to go all in, and to the extremes of stubbornness. It's worth it to me to save up for something, and when I finally purchase that thing, I am going to ENJOY IT NO MATTER WHAT. So, when I decided to spend eight bucks of my thirty-dollar-per-month self-allotted allowance on this sushi, I was GOING to enjoy it.
On the bike ride home, the plastic package had gotten dented a bit, smearing some of the sauce on the lid. As I opened it, some of the sauce got on my thumb. I absentmindedly licked it off. My mouth lit up like a dragon's. It was so hot, I expected my breath to ripple like the air over sun-baked asphalt, or my ears to start smoking like in a cartoon. I can handle normal spicy, but man, this was hot.
When I recovered, I looked down at my plate of fifteen Hawaiian sushi rolls. I looked back over the ingredients, and realized that all of that orange sauce soaking my vinegar and brown sugar-encrusted tuna rolls was actually orange wasabi - every bit as spicy as the regular green wasabi that I have always avoided, or at least diluted with soy sauce by a factor of ten before even approaching. That stubborn streak within me reared its grunty head, and I tucked in.
I finished all fifteen rolls, washing each one down with some lemonade. I chose to abstain from milk out of a desire to not increase my mucus production. I needn't have worried though; the Hawaiian rolls were so spicy my sinuses were squeaky clean by the time I was finished. I may have also blistered my tongue.
And that's the story of the Orange Wasabi Sauce. On an only slightly related note, I have a question that some of you might be able to answer. You know the saying about how "Doctors never get sick," or something like that? When does that actually start? I have regularly lowered my immune system by working and studying long hours to the point that I've gotten sick, and I can't really imagine this trend changing by much during med school and residency, especially with the prolonged exposure to disease as brought on by hoards of, well, other sick people. How do doctors stay healthy, or when does that superhuman health kick in? Graduation and receipt of the coveted M.D., or is it reserved for the elusive License to Practice? If doctors DO get sick, what is the limit to what they're expected to endure on the job before it's professionally acceptable to take a sick day??
Lots of questions a-buzzin' right now...