Archiv für den Monat April 2005

Missed Opportunity

It’s like love without heart… Today I was at Globus where the city of Shanghai is celebrated as the theme of the season, maybe to respond to the massive China ad campaign from Manor. Anyway, everywhere you can buy clothes, accessoires, noodles and other food from… ? But let’s start with the beginning.

We come to Globus to buy some food and also to see the art of the chinese noodle cooks. Mr Ma Jun from Gansu performs the art of noodle making almost like Stephen Chow, the guy who made Shaolin Soccer and a bit earlier God of Cookery. But the problem is, Mr. Ma speaks no english word and his interpreter, a young chinese women living in Switzerland, is not always around. So he understandably feels already a bit awkward.

The second thing is – and I think it is an insult to his work – that he’s just there to perform. So he makes great noodles of every thick- or thiness, but at the end, the finished noodles go back into the dough. So the whole thing is totally useless. Looking at Mr Ma’s namecard, I don’t think he’s a guy who does noodle-making as an art performance, but rather as a cook to create food to be eaten.

I still have hope and go to the nearby stall where a swiss woman sells noodle dishes. I ask here if these are noodles made by Mr. Ma. As there is too much noise at that moment, I don’t hear what she is saying and I continue to enquire about the proposed dishes. They look „lecker“, but not very chinese, therefore I ask again: „Are these noodles Mr. Ma’s noodles?“ Now I understand here better. „No“, she tells me, „that would be too complicated, the noodles are the ones we sell here“, pointing with her arm behind her. I look at the japanese Udon and Soba noodles in the fridge behind her back and I am speechless. Later I find the same noodles again in the Globus magazine „Shanghai“. As a neophyte I wouldn’t know about the fact that these noodles have nothing to do with Shanghai nor China and I think that’s almost criminal – it’s willful misrepresentation.

Not only have Chinese and Japanese very distinguished noodle cultures (in Japan for example you always know when you eat „chinese“ noodles), but I also find it absurd to fly in a noodle cook from Gansu, China, to do a performance where the most important is absent – the food. I would have loved to taste the noodles he just made – they would have been delicous, I am sure – and I am really angry at Globus to make such a sterile and „false“ event out of it. I just expect more from this expensive kind of „grand magasin“.