Everyone who has met me knows that when it comes to cooking, I'm doctor Jekyll and Mister Gordon Ramsey; fine with the operating table but whatever you do, don't come into the kitchen and put your arms around me when I'm handling burning saucepans (woks) and sharpened knives. And my new kitchen here in Mallorca, beautiful as it is, has a huge and crucial shortcoming: It has no door. Cooking is therefore something of an ordeal for me, scared shitless as I am every second that someone will come in and say "it's only me" and proceed to touch me or try to start a casual conversation about rocket science.
How could I solve this problem?
I was just standing in my bedroom admiring the beautiful obi (Japanese kimono belt) that my friend Etsuko had given me eight years earlier and which I now could finally display in its full glory, when it came to me: I would get a Japanese kitchen curtain! A noren! That way I wouldn't have to get a whole door with all the whittling and hammering that would entail.
It was easy: I just bought it on Amazon. First I found a navy one that I liked, but just as I was ready to press BUY, I saw one in a lighter, fresher blue that looked better. It would arrive on the 10th of October. At night. I waited in all night, but no noren. Around 9pm I checked my postbox; maybe the delivery guy had tried to deliver it and left a note? He had indeed left something in my postbox: The Japanese kitchen door curtain!
I love Japanese stuff, don't you? It's so well made. As I unpacked the noren, I thought how the Japanese craftsman in his white headband had probably spent seven years just holding the needle before he was allowed to start sewing. The material would have been carefully selected from the nostrils and eyelashes of wagyu beef. Woo-hoo! Quality all the way. Long live Japan!
I put up the curtain but... wasn't it a bit see-through? And the material. It didn't feel right at all. It felt like ... really bad nylon.
There was a label on the curtain. "Hangzhou Bingo E-commerce co ltd. MADE IN CHINA", it said.
Still! It LOOKS good.
Oh, and there's no longer any danger of choking on the cement that's been coming off my work surfaces in big chunks every time I have cleaned them or chopped stuff on them. Yes, a 130-year-old-house has many excellent properties, but things do give in to material fatigue. No matter, the kitchen has now been thoroughly fixed by the excellent Michael Mike, who has in fact done all the necessary work on this house. Including finding a solution for my obi problem! Thanks, Mike.
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