Tokyo train journeys remind me of the life I could be having. Slashes of other people’s lives are on public view.
Primary school kids in immaculate navy blue uniforms whispering wicked thoughts to each other, bristly beard foreigners arguing over a tatty guide-book, an old lady in a kimono trapped in the human-crush trying to keep her dignity under a drunken salaryman`s armpit.
I look on, sometimes with pity, sometimes with envy.
The train ride is always interesting, a mood-changer. There is always someone to furtively examine and gossip to myself about after.
Time to change leaf.
I got off at Nishiogikubo station, trying to forget it was Saturday night.
Outside the station gates, Pablo, a lanky, cocky Chilean a notorious nuisance in parts of Nishiogi, was leaning over a young Japanese girl watching her fiddle with her mobile. Three years ago, I remember him bursting into a Nishiogi bar to announce the death of Chile when their tsunami struck.
I pulled my hood low over my head and rushed past. No time for dallying, I had a burger to eat.
MOS burger at midnight can be paradise for no man. But neither is it hell. It is a service station between the two, a safe spot to gather your thoughts.
On the 2nd floor, a girl was studying. Coffee shops and burger bars in Tokyo can become like libraries. The devotion to textbooks is always inspiring. I love watching people learn while munching a burger.
I had come to MOS burger to finish Okei, an “epic tale of romance and coming of age.” It is definitely an epic tale, based on a true story that will linger in my mind for a long time.
I totally missed the “romance” though. That could be due to personal failings. Or it could be that the word romance is included on the front cover purely to convince people to make a purchase. Romance is a powerful word. A bit like burger.