“Get out the gaijin menu,” the soba shop owner anxiously called out to his wife.
He turned to me with a broad smile. All his 3 front teeth were on show.
“You looks Canadian,” he ventured.
My lumberjack-style check shirt must have been responsible.
“No, I`m English,” I replied.
With room for 30, I was their only customer. Today is the start of a 3 day renkyu (consecutive holiday). On the TV, a man was being interviewed taking his family on a trip, his chance to put in some kazoku sabiisu (Literally, family service – fulfilling duties to family)
“How long you stay?” the wife, sat at the cash register, asked me. The conversation was still in English.
This was harder to answer. Partly because I wanted to start eating my noodles. But mainly because I knew their attitude would change. I would no longer be a backpacker lost after a wander around Asakusa.
(I did have a backpack though. And I was lost, somewhere in Kanda)
For a moment, I considered pretending to be that lost backpacker. She would have given me the brochure she was holding advertising the upcoming Kanda festival. She would fuss over me, my teacup would never go empty. I might even get a gift, or a lift to my next destination: the office.
“Trust me lady, there`s a Youth Hostel on the 28th floor.”
No, it wouldn`t have been worth the hassle.
I finish with a completely unconnected photo of a grass roofed house I passed on near Mitaka yesterday.