Amuse Bouche

Two gentlemen in top-hats were standing in front of us, looking into my face and laughing.
‘Do you eat oysters, lad? Do you really? Most remarkable. And how do you eat them?’
I remember a strong hand dragging me into the brightly-lit eating-house. Within a minute a crowd gathers round and watches me with curiosity and amusement. I am sitting at a table and eating something slimy, salty, smelling of damp and mould. I eat greedily, without chewing, without looking and without trying to discover what I am eating.

from Chekhov, The Early Stories 1883-88, chosen and translated by Patrick Mills and Harvey Pitcher.

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