We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
A daughter and her (seemingly) true love are heading off for ten days in Japan tonight. This daughter been to lots of places in the world, but never Asia. (I have never been further east than Turkey, and have no desire for further.)
She emailed me and asked whether I had any travel advice for Japan. I told her all I know: "Omakase." It means that you want the sushi chef to surprise you with some spontaneous creations with his best stuff. I survived five years of lousy sushi, ended up calling it "bait." Now that I have found a superb relatively local joint, I am back on sushi.
As far as Italy is concerned, the way Mrs. BD and I lose weight in Italy is by sharing meals. One antipasto each for lunch, and one antipasto, one primi, and one secondi for supper to share. Lots of good tastes, lower volume. And lots of walking.
Good observation about sushi. A few years ago, my work caused me to spend extended time in the LA area, near LAX and El Segundo. There is a suburb, Manhattan Beach. On the main drag there is a sushi place, once called Octopus, that has the best I've ever eaten. The guys behind the counter are the real deal, but can speak just enough English to let you know they appreciate your patronage. If your better judgment loses out and you find yourself in CA, it is worth the time.
You probably make a pretty good point about Eye-talian food, BD. If one were to spend a week vacationing in every country in the world, ate all the local food and weighed themselves at the end, Italy would probably win.
North Korea would presumably come in last, with the ignoble honor of being the only country where one lost weight during the visit.