Ask any European whether they like eating with chopsticks and the majority will probably say they find it utterly distressing. I agree that eating with chopsticks isn’t exactly convenient. The first time I used chopsticks, I spent one hour vigorously trying to catch a noodle strand and dribbling soy sauce all across my blouse. On those rare occasions when I did catch a shrimp with my chopsticks and was lifting it to my mouth, I suddenly discovered that the bloody shrimp had mysteriously vanished again so that I could repeat the whole agonizing process once more.
To us, westerners, chopsticks remain an unsolved mystery. To quote American author Bill Bryson: “Am I alone in thinking it odd that a people ingenious enough to invent paper, gunpowder, kites and any number of other useful objects, and who have a noble history extending back 3,000 years haven’t yet worked out that a pair of knitting needles is no way to capture food?”
Despite all their inconveniences, however, I still love eating with chopsticks! (And over the years I’ve gotten quite good at using them too!) One main advantage is that you are forced to eat slower, and as a result you can enjoy your food a bit longer as well. But if I had to give one reason why I absolutely love chopsticks, it would be because I LIKE A CHALLENGE! Yes, it requires some time to master the art of using chopsticks, but when you do get the hang of it, it tastes like sweet sweet VICTORY!
Given my love for chopsticks, I fancied some noodles today. And this was the result: laksa lemak with tofu and udon noodles. Delicious!