Trees and birds are my healthiest hobby yet, healthier even than my teenage fig roll diet. Trees and birds are everywhere, sometimes appearing in the most unexpected places, even in the decrepit heart of the New World. An enormous blooming cherry blossom stopped me in my tracks yesterday, a screeching alerting me to the punky brown-eared bulbul perched amongst it’s pink petals.
With the Tsutenkaku tower in the background, it was a beautiful image. I took a few moments for some mental photographs – my fingers are too fat to take real ones.
Seems strange but looking up into the trees brings me closer to the ground, my mind stops floating off and takes anchor. Briefly.
Love hotels do not provide breakfast, the only thing I got in the morning was the return of my new blue trainers. These trainers marched me to Namba station and into a standing soba noodle bar, at 8am the counter was already lined with slurping salarymen. My seaweed, pickled plum and mountain vegetable noodle broth was magnificent, and at 390 yen, a bargain. The equivalent experience in England would be a pot noodle in a bus shelter.
Around the corner from the noodles, is a cafe chain called Eikokuya (The Great Britain Lounge) where coffee and 3 inch thick toast is served on mass-produced Wedgwood crockery on brown formica tables under a plastic chandelier. Smartly-dressed waiters and waitresses glide about to jazz music. At the till, retort pouches of boil in the bag curry, are on sale advertised as British curry. I remembered reading a quote from Oscar Wilde which my fingers have found and I paste here:
“The whole of Japan is a pure invention. There is no such country, there are no such people… ”
I wonder if there is a Japanese person with a similar quote about Britain? Anyway, this invented version of Britain is at least as interesting as the real thing. It certainly beats a pot noodle in a bus station.