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i-geek

Member Since 08 Mar 2010
Offline Last Active Dec 28 2010 04:01 PM
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Topics I've Started

Asked To Leave A Restaurant

28 August 2010 - 09:39 PM

Hi all,

I'm currently in Japan, which is a food nightmare for celiacs. I've never eaten so much white rice in my life. I've been subsisting off of Soy Joy bars, Lara bars from home, yogurt, fruit, and foods like sushi, which I now learn might be responsible for the low-level illness I've had since I've been here (seaweed might be soaked in soy sauce, rice might be mixed with wheat starch).

After I'd been here a couple of nights we went out looking for something that wasn't bread/pastry, noodles/pasta, breaded/fried, Japanese curry, or covered in soy sauce (which ruled out about 90-95% of food). I tried to order sushi in a restaurant and showed my dining card, which I'd bought specifically for this trip and had been too shy to use at that point- amazing what intense hunger will do- to avoid being served mugicha (barley tea, a popular summer drink). The waitress freaked, got the manager and another server who spoke excellent English, and they proceeded to interrogate me until deciding that they didn't want to risk the trouble and escorted me through the crowded dining room to the exit, telling me where I might find a restaurant more suitable. I was shaking from hunger, nearly in tears in front of all those people. I felt like a pariah and I've been afraid to use the card since (and yes, even with taking care to only eat things that appear safe and don't have the kanji for wheat/barley or gluten on the package, I've not felt well the entire time).

Has this happened to anyone else in Asia or elsewhere? I have a whole pack of cards in different languages and am now wondering if I wasted my money if restaurants will take one look and refuse to help.