Foreign Affairs installment 2


On the days when I do not venture out with friends, I try to explore the restaurant lunch scene around our bustling little neighborhood of Roppongi. Boz likes to hear every little detail of my day when he gets home from work, and these recaps require a picture of my lunch along with a description of the restaurant discovery-of-the-day. I almost always provide a thorough account, but this Thursday presented a challenge.

I found a teeny tiny salaryman deli around noon and wildly gesticulated until I was seated. As per usual, I couldn’t read the menu but resorted to the skim-and-point method, and anticipated the customary “Aha!” moment.

And then this arrived:

After sampling Prickly Fried Surprise (my translation, not theirs), I still have absolutely no idea what it was. I helpfully informed Boz that it was either meat or vegetables. We’ve narrowed the field…

Creative Sources of Meat:


I love horses. It is no secret that I am obsessed with all animals, but horses hold a special place. I cannot read ‘horse meat’ without picturing a sleek, 17 hands, jet black Trakehner. I have to say a quick prayer before each meal in hopes that it will protect me from eating Black Beauty.

Progress Report:

Boz’s folks are in the process of moving from Tennessee to California. While B and I were visiting them earlier this year, we started recounting their many past moves and the various challenges that a (relatively) transient lifestyle might pose. Mrs. B eloquently summed up her outlook with the simple statement, “I just bloom where I’m planted.” I tucked that thought into my memory, hoping that I would be able to adjust to Tokyo without needing to actually write it on my hand. Here we have a progress report on my blooming:

I was in the subway station this week, semi-lost in a daydream, when I noticed the most incredible pair of brown, knee-high boots on the gal standing next to me. I turned to her, smiled, and said “Your boots are GORGEOUS.” This clearly Japanese woman, living in Japan, just stared at me like “Seriously? You just did that?” To which I must respond, “Yes. Yes, I did….and not because I am an American that cannot fathom the concept of a country in which people do not speak English…but because I AM TRYING TO BLOOM. I just happen to be blooming in an entirely awkward, alienating, embarrassing sort of way and you just happen to be an elegant, impeccably dressed, beautiful Asian woman. Therein lies our problem…”

 Helpful Tips for Foreigners:

This is a sign on the window of the ticket booth in the Nagano train station. Our train ride was oddly uneventful...certainly less terrifying than this sign would lead one to believe.

Happy Valentine’s Day, loves.