I got back to Tokyo yesterday. For a while, it felt like I had never been away. The sky was still blue, the people frosty, and the temperature fridge-cold, much colder than tropical Devon. My first task, which took 45 minutes, was to track down the yutanpo (hot water bottle).
Waking up this morning, my first task was to figure-out where I was: back in Tokyo. Then I began thinking about breakfast.
My home in Nishiogi overflows with cheap dining options. I normally enjoy choosing where to go. For breakfast, it`s either the conbini (convenience store), the bakery or a cafe.A previous favourite, buying nattomaki at the conbini, is no longer an option. Even if I could manage to tramp to the conbini and back, if I tried to eat it in the arctic kitchen downstairs, the sticky natto would freeze-weld onto my front teeth.
The bakery was also out-of-bounds. At a 15 minute walk, the possibility of frostbite enters the equation. Also, one of my new year resolutions was to reduce the number of chocolate eclairs I eat at breakfast.
So, I trekked to the cosy Corona cafe on the busy Inokashira-dori main road. I chose a table in the warmest corner. For 500 yen, I ordered the morning set: coffee, a fried egg, thick buttered toast, a slice of tomato, a handful of thinly sliced cabbage and a spoonful of mayonaise-coated macaroni. It was lovely, so nice in fact I asked for another.
The only problem came when I had to leave. In Nishiogi, after getting up from the table, you pay for your food. I had forgotten this curious custom. For the last three weeks, after getting up from the table, I have been going straight into the lounge and onto the sofa.
My wallet had a shock. It was starting to enjoy its recent purely decorative function. Sadly times have changed. I`ll need to open it again in a couple of hours.
Back in my chill cabinet bedroom, I am now trying to make plans to readjust to single-living in Tokyo. Scant comfort remains, just last night`s lukewarm yutanpo now lodged between my thighs. The lucky thing will stay there until lunchtime.