• 04 . 06 . 04
  • Dinner at an Italian restaurant, which was about as Italian as I am, but still tasty.

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Howard’s End

I ate lunch today in an Italian restaurant. Of course, this being Japan, it wasn’t exactly Italian, more a imitation of an idea of what an Italian restaurant should be like. To begin with, the restaurant’s name was Howard’s End, which didn’t seem the most appropriate moniker. I was pleased to see silk flowers, fake ivy and dribbly candles, but Nirvana and Chesney Hawks playing in the background somewhat removed any sense of authenticity. Inexplicably, the meal was spent in the shadow of statues of those famous Italian icons Laurel and Hardy, which was odd to say the least.

The food was excellent, however, with incredibly thin crust pizza and great spaghetti. This led me to believe that somebody, somewhere in the restaurant must have spent at least some time in Italy. How then, they could allow the Irish flag to hang outside is beyond me. I’m willing to believe that it might just have faded in the sun, but around here you can never be sure…

I was surprised to find also that I couldn’t use a knife and fork anymore, and it took about 5 minutes to figure out how to use them again. It might well have been the first time I’d used them since I came to Japan. It’s not that chopsticks are better (I find it hard to believe that in 2000 years no better alternative to two twigs has been found), it’s just that cutlery is practically non-existent; for a long time I thought there literally were no spoons. I often wonder how many trees are cut down to produce the millions of disposable chopsticks that are used here each year. Even if they won’t stop whaling, I’m sure the Japanese could make a huge positive contribution to the global environment just by using a knives and forks. I might start a petition…

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