For the first 27 years of my existence I knew only three things to cook. Or rather three ways of cooking one thing; boiled eggs, omelets and bull's eye. Then I came to Japan and survived on Jap food for a week. But any food prepared without using a few spoon fulls of rocket fuel isn't really food. Thus I set my hands upon the fine art of cooking Sri Lankan dishes.
Now my mom being the wise woman she is (despite being scary at times - especially when it comes to marriage related stuff), not only did she think it was good to send a bucket load of spices and all the other cooking ingredients with me, she also saw it necessary to write me a little 'how to' booklet of cooking and put it in my bag. So then I was fully armed with everything I needed I set to work. Now, my mom was all wise and good, but she forgot that she's a woman and I'm not. So, the whole booklet was full of phrases like "add a little salt", "heat the pan a bit" or "boil appropriately" or similar instructions. Now I don't know what these mean to women but I sure as hell know that they sound to men as comprehensive as calculus is for baboons. We know what it means when you say "add one tea spoon of salt". It's clear isn't it; you get a tea spoon, you pour salt powder into it once and add the thing into whatever it is being cooked. Or if you say boil for four minutes, then that makes sense. But what is "little" or "a bit"? Those words should be banned in cooking instructions and should be subjected to severe penalties.
Anyway, five minutes into my cooking adventures I was baffled as I could get, and I was sure nearby restaurant was going to get another order. But, yours truly isn't a man who gives up so easily. I did the only sensible thing I could; picked up the phone and rang mom. We went through the whole cook book, this time me noting down amounts and times exactly though it took more than a good few minutes for the process to complete. Simply because my mom continually failed to understand why I fail to understand what a "little bit of salt" means. Women, I tell you.
As you may have already guessed, albeit my determination the first meal was far from being edible so had to throw it away with much sadness and an empty stomach. But I took the advice of Thomas Edison, who was unsuccessful for about thousand times before finally coming up the perfect way to make a light bulb, that he did not fail thousand times but discovered thousand ways not to make a light bulb. It paid off, because soon I was OK and later quite good at making my rice and curry. However I'm glad that I did not have to wait thousand times like the poor dude or I would have starved to death or killed myself. Such is the fine art of cooking.