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lunch time, being taken to a BBQ to meet the man! Dixies BBQ in Bellevue is apparently a very famous eatery, although you wouldn't think at first glance. It's a run down old garage converted into a ................well.........garage, that just happens to have a counter and a few tables inside. Having said that, the queue was out of the door. We were greeted by the "crazy eyed" owner, who asked us where we were from and made us stick pins in one of the many maps hanging on the wall.
Took about 10 mins to get to the front of the queue during which time I was informed that the owner wasn't in fact "the man", I got the strange feeling I was being set up......... I plumbed for the very large pork sandwich and once ensconced in our seats, old crazy eyes came round.
"he needs to meet the man" my colleague says to crazy eyes. He goes out the back and returns witha bowl of orange/ black sauce. "two or three" he asks In a voice that was way to squeaky and grating for his size. "small I say" as I make space in the side of the carton for the sauce he has been spooning on my colleagues plates. "this aint goin' on no paper" he squeaks, "it goes on the meat or you don't get none!"....... He places about half a small teaspoon full onto my sandwich, I take a little taste...................................one of my colleagues starts choking and coughing up, steam pouring from his ears as his face gets redder and redder, he's a veteran and knew what he was getting into! Me, my mouth, throat, windpipe and my insides are all starting to glow red......................bloody hell, what have I done? I'm on fire........this must just be the hottest food I've ever consumed in my life, it's unbelievable...........I reach for water and drink as fast as I can........ it actually takes close to 10 minutes for the feeling to subside!
It reminded me somewhat of tobanjan, a very hot spicy chilli-miso paste from China. Despite being hot though, it still wasn't as foul tasting as that Canadian Caesar thing Stumpy tried to get me to drink in Tokyo.....
I manage to last the rest of the afternoon with a 10 minute snooze in the office, but the old tummy was suffering some serious repecussions from our lunch time adventure.
Evening time, despite feeling rather groggy and a tad tired (gross under exagerration!), I manage to drag my self down to Aikido Eastside where I'd arranged to take a class with George Ledyard.
I got there a few minutes before George, the early class was running with Kevin Lam teaching, so I sat and watched. George came, we introduced ourselves and he suggested I change up and join in, so I did.
The class ended soon after and George took over teaching the advanced class. I've mentioned that Stumpy had forearms like hams, well George's are possible double the size of Stumpy's!! When I grabbed him for nikkyo I crossed my self............"Bryan's being too kind" he says, "grab harder".....yeah right!
It was a most excellent class, I didn't even feel the jet lag until right near the end when I just seemed to run out of sand. The only real problem (aside from the techniques ), was every time I started to stand after being put down, "the man" decided to come back and visit!!
Interestingly for me, George is doing very similar aikido to what I am trying to do, he's just a lot farther down the road . The class was very friendly with some very accomplished students, if anyone comes near Seattle for any reason, make sure you go visit George, you will not be disappointed.
Well my trips just about over, just winding up my last day in the office. A quick two day trip to Minneapolis to visit me mum before returning home Monday morning.
Almost 3 weeks away, despite the fun, I just want to go home now..........