• 29 . 08 . 04
  • An explanation of why workmen are never working, and a close to Japanese summer.

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The End Of Summer

Me and some other teachers were invited to a Japanese friend’s apartment last night to watch yet more fireworks. This was the last display of this summer and supposedly marks the beginning of Autumn. Whether it will mark the beginning of some more sensible temperatures, I’m still waiting to see. An Englishman just isn’t supposed to live at 30°+ for more than one day a year.

Anyway, both the fireworks and food were fantastic. The view was from our friend’s penthouse which, while not incredibly high up, was still taller than most of the other buildings in the area and did mean we had access to the roof. This meant the food was served outside on a huge balcony with a roof garden which, with the warm weather, cool fireworks and good company, made for a great evening.

Starters was a Caesar salad, which I haven’t had for months! The main was huge bowls of kimchee-nabe, a spicy stew with all sorts of meats in it. In fact, kimchee is Korean, but Japanese people eat a lot of it. In the absence of Indian curry it is about the best spicy sauce you can get here.

Speaking of food, I was told of a particular Pavlov-like reaction lots of Japanese people have. Almost every restaurant you see has a flashing orange light on top of the restaurant sign. I’m not sure what the proper name for them is, but it’s the kind that American cops put on top of cars when they start chasing someone in the movies. I was wondering what the lights were for, and was told that it was because it made Japanese feel hungry when they saw it. It’s some sort of learned reaction that they develop as a child because everybody else feels hungry when they see one. It might lend itself to some interesting research if only I could get hold of a little orange light…

My friend was a little disappointed that it didn’t work on me, but maybe it explains why workmen are always on lunch or tea-breaks in England…?

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