this week i've discovered an awesome new restaurant near where i live. It's called "Chattering" and they do all kinds of western foods. The owner is into music and art, too, and speaks English quite well. He's a funny bald guy who makes goofy faces and says witty little things where you're not sure if he's amused, or sarcastically playing along with you. He also has a cat and a dog, which roam the restaurant freely. They serve all kinds of food, except Japanese. Tonight i had pizza, Hamburger, pasta, salad, dessert and coffee for about $14. Amazing.
I was there with a few friends, and we got up to go pay, and at the register the owner was struggling to do the math. I asked him if he'd been drinking and he scrunched his face into a funny little look and said "a little!"
Hehehe, I like living in rural Japan.
Another great restaurant experience is in Tagawa. My friend Miho cooks at a Mexican restaurant there called OLDIES (she usually writes it in all caps like that). You know how when they have Savanna animals in a zoo they sometimes paint the walls to look like the great plains so that the animal will feel "at home?" OLDIES is kind've like that for Americans. It makes me feel like i'm in an artificially crafted America zoo. Miho has collected tons of American memorabilia over the years and it's all over the walls - portraits of JFK and Marilyn Monroe, a revolver, fliers from her trip to California, dollar bills taped to the wall, record cases, etc. It's magnificent. All this and Mexican food. She makes really great enchiladas to boot. A few weeks ago there was a party there with a live Japanese band that was American 1950's themed. They all had leather jackets and poodle skirts and greaser hair. So cool.
Oh, and OLDIES used to be a famous Japanese restaurant (izakaya) so upstairs, there are still all these half abandoned Japanese style rooms with suits of armor and stuffed birds and swords. It's kind've like Hattori Hanzo's shop from Kill Bill. Actually it's exactly like that. Miho let me sleep in one of the abandoned Izakaya rooms and it's just so incredible. It's all so beautiful yet falling apart and untouched for years. All these supplies for drinking parties and huge groups of salary men, so still and unused for years. There's even a little garden and fountain outside collecting piles of leaves with tools and boots strewn about. The contrast is really beautiful and striking. I need to go back there with my camera. In the morning light, the place took my breath away.
That's all for now. Just thought you kids deserved some updating
Otherwise i'm getting ready to visit America on Saturday. Oh dear, so much to do. It'll be very interesting to observe the reversy culture shock 5 month in.