Wisecracks at the dinner table in Akihabara

“Ah……this is it, this is the taste of the Napolitan I ate that day.”

This nostalgia-themed advertisement hung on the wall opposite my seat this evening.


I did not need prompting by the poster; I had already ordered an extra large Napolitan at the ticket vending machine outside.

“Everybody chooses extra large – it`s the same price,”  the wiseguy sat on my table told his mate.  Wiseguy seemed to have come to commentate on dinner as much as eat it:

“You`ve put too much mayonnaise on that,” he warned his mate.

I agreed with him.

On Saturday nights I seem to automatically drift to Pancho.  There are many reasons: the film; the manga and anime posters and quotes lining the walls:

Legendary lines we all want to say once:   “I have two transformations left.” (Dragonball)

Is that really a legendary line?  It sounds very lame, but then I don`t know the Dragonball series very well.  Or perhaps it`s my dodgy translation of 私は後二回変身を残している。

There is also my secret craving for ketchup; the tiny waitress with a big smile who always welcomes me back like a long lost brother; and knowing I won`t need to eat again until early autumn

Sometimes though,  I just like sitting silently amongst strangers.

“The Napolitans we used to have for school dinner were delicious weren`t they?”

Wiseguy was sentimental about this ketchup-coated stodge.  I can sympathise.  Food is very sentimental.  I get all weepy remembering the rhubarb crumble we were served in the primary school canteen. Perhaps all the other 20 or so diners, all male, had come here craving the past on a dinner plate.

Only two girls were in the room – both of them waitresses.

Eventually a female customer arrived – with her boyfriend.  Their entrance prompted more punditry:

“Girls can stuff a load in too you know.  The key is not choosing too many extra toppings.”

I noted down this gem of puritan philosophy.

High in the corner was a poster for One Piece, the insanely popular manga and anime series loved by many Akihabara visitors.  Next to the poster a piece of square, white card was filled with 4 elegantly drawn Chinese characters.  It looked totally out of place.  Until I read it:



Wiseguy`s sidekick finally spoke up:

“What do I do now?  I`m already full but I can`t leave all this. It`s shitsurei (rude).”

Not half as rude as coating your dinner with mayonnaise in the first place, I thought.  But I suppose when your dinner is already coated in ketchup, it is tricky.


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