Normally i'm not one of those people who thinks its important to do everything (or even anything) "as the locals do", but this comment really hits home with me: "It's more than that though. That whole approach to the situation is very capitalist/objectifying. i.e. I paid the money for it - so it's mine to do with and enjoy as I please. Fuck the hundreds of years of culture or decades of experience of the experts around me trying to share their culture, my own personal interpretation on this thing that I have 5 minutes experience with, is far more important then that. Some restaurants/product sellers exist to just produce some good to be consumed en mass. You like pickle on your mcdonalds burder? great. You want to skip the ads in the movie? Awesome. You want to put stickers on your cheap guitar, that's great. But some things exist as a culture unto themselves, and there is value in respecting the practices. I would cringe if someone bought a stradivarius violin and painted it black. The argument "I paid tons of money for this, so I can do what I want" just doesn't fly. The fact that it's cost prohibitive is partially due to the fact that there are not many of them, but partially to ensure that only those who truly care about them will buy them. If you wanted a black violin there are loads of electric violins/cheap violins whatever that would have worked just fine - there was no need to shit all over an important piece of work to impose your own opinions. If you order a custom made super car, and then take it off-roading, or a piece of oak furniture to use as firewood. These things have had so much time and love put into them. That matters! If you like your steak well done with ketchup on it, then go to applebees and no one will give a shit. But if you order the tenderloin from a piece of meat that has been raised organic for 6 years, dry aged for a month to the highest of standards. You fucking better not order it well done and drown it in mustard. Love has gone into that steak, and you want to just char it to a crisp? That's like commissioning a piece of art and then burning it in front of the artists eyes. If you don't like art don't commission art. If you don't like steak cooked in a way where you can still tell the quality of beef, then order chicken. If you like cheap sushi, smothered in soy sauce, and fake-wasabi, no one is gonna give a shit if you eat it that way at a place with a conveyor belt in front of you staffed by a bunch of hong kong immigrants masquerading as japanese. But if you're in tokyo or something, and the chef has personally selected the fish from the fish markets, and a staff of lifelong dedicated experts has personally prepared that meal for you, so that the subtleties of flavor could be experienced, then it's a fucking travesty to treat it the same as the $5 dollar sushi, smothered in wasabi. Some things are made to be appreciated, and the act of purchasing and consuming them, is an important role. Luckily there are always alternatives. There's cheap sushi, cheap steaks, cheap instruments, ikea art, etc. No one is forcing you to partake in the culture of anything. But if you go out of your way to be a part of culture of food or anything, then yeah, it's your job to get with the program, and check your own opinions at the door."