Re: Customs in the different countries
Back in NY TK Lee was kind of the hospitality director, (second only to Sensei ) He liked Japanese food, but he said if we were really hungry we should go to Chinatown. If he liked the restaurant he would just say, eleven people, ten dishes and they would bring whatever the chef sent and it was very good.
Lee always kidded around about being Chinese, he was proud of it but had a sense of humor. He gave everyone a set of chopsticks and said if you don't reach, you starve.
One day the Central New York dojo showed up and Lee wasn't there. I had some shrimp and stuff in my six floor walkup in Little Italy (near Chinatown) I was having a little dinner for my friend Valerie and her friend and was planning to make tempura. (Also Lee's recipe, to not forget to put ice in the water when you make the batter) On Sunday. This was Saturday. I invited the Syracuse dojo and it was great fun, and they validated my cooking.
For Valerie and her friend, I just re-bought and had the Sunday dinner as planned, but out of the blue that was some dojo party with people I had never met before on Saturday. Ariff still teases my former student from my Stamford Y dojo at the summer camps that her former teacher fed his students.
I'm still crazy about the Aikido techniques years later, though I rarely get to practice, but events like that are unforgettable and build great friendships.