Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Full Stomach in Japan

The first thing I needed to learn here were the rituals around food - no eating while walking, sitting on the subway, sitting outside the National Museum...unless you are eating ice cream or anything from a crepe stand (See Linden and Ani in Harijuku)

This is actually harder than I initially realized. I'm careful not to offend, but it's hard to keep my hands from the bag of mixed nuts in my purse.

There are a number of Indian, Korean, Italian and one superb Thai restaurant throughout this city. Apparently Korean food is to Japanese like Mexican is to the Americans. Whether or not that's true, I've sampled all of the above and enjoyed most of it.

Oddly, Japanese food is a little harder to find in our price range. I imagine I'll splurge once or twice for the experience. For now, I'll continue to sample the food in the bakeries (so long as you are not looking for "typical" bread). Mhairi's comment to me was "bread here is atomic, it doesn't grow moldy, get stale, nothing."

Normally I avoid this massive corporate entity when local, small, organic, fair-trade, ANYTHING else is available. Many times in the past, Linden and I have argued as to whether there are enough positives of this corporation that would act as an incentive given other options…good hiring practices, part-time employee benefits, etc. Regardless of my arguments in Canada, I’ve come to appreciate a few unexpected positives while in Japan

  1. non-smoking policy,
  2. a space to read for hours
  3. coffee that tastes like something more than water, and
  4. cheap and large sandwiches (in comparison with the local lunch fair…Starbucks food makes sense on a budget here).
Given the near-universal acceptance of chain-smoking in restaurants and lack of public space I am willing to pay for a java, a breathing and thinking space.


momanddad said...

or a soy tazo-chai? Glad you found a quite place to work....and I really enjoy the entries. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Linden, isn't that your Jacket from Vietnam? I see pink lining...I have been looking EVERYWHERE for it so I could send it to you! So I am really happy you have it!
Love M