Lorenzo Pirisino

Marta and the Hawkins

Posted on 2006/03/26 10:45:32 (March 2006).

[18th March 2006]

And so it was, finally I was going to meet John after over 1 year. I guess we could say that we met in October, but it was only for 1 hour and hardly a meeting to take into consideration.
This time our schedules were still in a rather nasty conflict, but we had the chance to spend almost 2 days together, which is simply great.

I got to Tokyo pretty late, met Marta and then joined John and Chie in Shinjuku.
Marta has been pretty depressed all week, we didn't get a chance to meet before, but we spoke on the phone quite a lot.
The source of bad feelings is work, too many things are going pear shaped in this new job, too long to tell now, but it was good to go out with her and take her mind off things.

We decided to go to Shibuya, to our dismay one of the young districts in Tokyo had almost all the restaurants full by the time we were looking.
This was a prelude to the tragedy that we were going to take part in... the Kushiage Tabehodai/Nomihodai.
Basically Kushiage means, “mouth-fried”, meaning that you eat things on a stick that would normally fit in your mouth in one morsel (see picture).
Tabehodai and Nomihodai mean “eat and drink (alchool) as much as you want”, so the idea is that for 90 minutes you do just that.

Finding a decent place at that time in the evening in one of the busiest young districts in the whole Japanese archipelago was like asking for the Moon on a Stick, therefore we kind of got what we deserved (though no moon was involved this time)!
The food was not that nice, the restaurant stank like a Fish and Chips near Highbury Park stadium after a football match, but as usual what made the difference was the great company.
We have had a great dinner, lots of chatting going on, and generally the mood made the food look and taste a lot better (I have to make a special mention to John's DEEP FRIED BREAD in BATTER, again see picture!!).

Another special mention was the nice piece of theatre that Chie put up with the staff of the restaurant when entering the place. Basically there is a system in Japan where you can show an “e-coupon” that is valid in some restaurants to get a discount.
The interesting thing is that it's not you looking and eventually finding the coupon, but it's the restaurant staff that tells you WHERE to look for it (the http address)...
Using John's marvellous mobile we managed to get a discount and to learn this great feat of Japanese culture...

We then departed for our respective places after a bit more wondering around Shinjuku...

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