Monday, June 16, 2008
Lazy Sunday- Kyoto Version
Eyes open, 12:45.
Apparently not dead yet.
Eyes still open, body failing to respond, 1:00 pm.
Coffee is in the air and the wonderful scent of bacon/eggs fills the room. I rise, fall, stumble then crawl to the dining area.
Breakfast is served. Announcements are made.
It would appear as if the In-Laws will be making a somewhat impromptu visit this day and, in fact, are due any moment. The Wife requests that I partake in a long solo shower, utililizing all available cleaning products, so that the place doesn't reek like a herd of alcoholic goats when the Parents arrive.
I open up my newspaper, stick my nose in, sip my 3rd cup of hot Joe. Request denied.
Phone rings, doorbell shortly follows. Mom is here, He's parking the car, gifts are exchanged as I abandon my paper, my peace, any sense of solitude and retreat to the shower.
Floss, brush, shower, shave, splash on some smell-well, glance intently in the mirror. Is it possible that I'm actually getting better looking as I age? I have to allow that this is a distinct possibility.
Dress quickly while the day's schedule is being discussed and coordinated in the other room. Decisions are made as I load my bag for the day and check the sky. Sunny, lovely, no complaints or threatening clouds. They are making early evening reservations for a delicious dinner in Gion (World Famous Entertainment District), I will be going to work. Sometimes it breaks that way.
3:00pm. Time to make the doughnuts.
Goodbyes are expressed and I hit the streets. It is very simply a perfectly beautiful day. I head down the River to the station for my 1st meeting, the breeze off the water is sublime. Couples are holding hands, Old folks basking in the warmth, children frolicking in the water, dogs romping on the banks. If you wanted to think about a ideal World it would have to be something close to this.
But I'm peddling fast, No Time.
Near Sanjo a giant group of rubberneckers are blocking the path. I hit my bell and treat them to my best scowl, they all smile in return and shuffle, mostly , out of my way. It seems that they are taping one of J-Lands ubiquitous TV Location specials and the cameras are rolling as I zip by. 2 of J-TV's "Talent" are miked and the crowd is gawking in awe. Neither one of them is the slightest bit talented in any redeemable manner and I detect nothing "Special" occuring so I keep pedalling.
From Shijo to Gojo the river is full of Anglers fishing for Aiyu, a local delicacy. This sight always pleases me enormously. I've personally never seen anybody take anything out of this River but then again, I don't stick around to watch so maybe they do. I guess I just like the fact that all these Old geezers are wading knee-deep into the water, geared out like they're in Montana or at least Spain, all the while being about a 3 minute walk to any Major Train Station and a 30 minute ride home to their TV's and cold beers. Good Luck Fellas!
Nearing Kyoto Station a small single engine plane buzzes down from nowhere. I have no idea what this pilot is thinking but he is flying LOW. So low that I feel like if I stood on the roof of a 5 story building and got a good running start I just might be able to hit him with a rock, maybe. He buzzes Kyoto Tower and flies off due south. I can figure no reasonable explanation for this.
Make it to my meeting at the SBC. The girl serving me is young and beautiful and speaks flawless English. Tits like ripe grapefruit and a smile like sunshine. If there's a better combination I've been waiting 45 years to see it.
Meeting productive. 5:00pm.
Phone rings. Next meeting is calling to cancel, stuck in Tokyo and can't make it.
Dinner, here I come.
Taxi to the resturaunt, 6:00pm. The ride is, like all Kyoto taxis, smooth, clean, quiet and quick. I may never get tired of this service.
1st time in Gion, humming with anticipation. The disappointment begins.
Our waiter (Did they run out of beautiful Girls or something?) appears to be a teenage Boy and about as sharp as a bowling ball.
Food is served and the 1st dish is fantastic, best daikon salad I have ever had, bar none.
We wait for the next dishes.
This will prove to be a theme for the evening.
Minor emergency during dinner and I have to leave the place for 10 minutes or so. As I exit I am offered wooden clog type shoes which I slip on and head into Gion. I turn a few corners and have entered a blissfully silent part of the District, I can hear absolutely nothing but the soft "klok, klok, klok" of my chanklas off the cobblestones. It is a lovely, lonely sound. I peer up and notice very old burn marks on some of the wooden buildings, maybe there for decades or hundreds of years.
Klok, Klok back to the food.
The check arrives, 9ish. Father-in-Law is at last pleased. If not entirely salvaged the evening cannot be described as a total loss. The food, when it managed to arrive, was delicious. The Service? Less said the better. As we take our leave we notice a family of 4 at an adjoining table also making a break. They seem even less pleased than we. I will not mention the name of the eatery.
9:30pm, time for the Boys and Girls to split up. We will be repairing to a local Drinking Hole, they will be returning home.
Oto-San makes the Call and picks, of all things, an English Style Pub we've visited previously, run by 2 young Japanese guys.
The bar is suprisingly crowded as we sit, order. Directly behind us is a group (5) of Japanese and one American girl and she is doing much of the talking, in English.
She's talking a lot! The artsy type who talks about Big Cultural themes and Intellectual Ideas and Artistic Projects and so I conceive an instant dislike for her. Oh well. I bend to my beer as Oto-San engages the couple next to him on the barstool in conversation.
I smoke, drink, aggresively ignore.
The American Girl gets up to use the Jane, I turn to regard her for the 1st time as she walks away. Whoa!
Tight jeans, long lean legs, swinging hips, sweet ass, tattoos or in other words-My Type. As she returns to her table I add fresh face and great smile to her resume and immediately reevaluate my opinion. Our eyes meet, as they say, and we don't waste any time with introductions. We jump into conversational intercourse but I am wary. The closer I look (and we're at kissing distance so I'm looking awful damn close) the more she reminds me of the Ex and I can't determine whether I love her or hate her so, realizing the unfairness of it all, decide to do neither.
Great smile though.
Her group leaves and Oto-San intoduces me to his new friends. They are Larry and his Wife, Naoko. Naoko used to teach H.S. at the same place Oto-san attended, guite unbelievable considering that she is in great shape and doesn't seem a minute over 40. This makes him ecstatically happy. There is much drink before He invites L§N back to my home for further festivities.
We all walk.
Larry has any number of interesting stories about the West Coast Music Scene of the 80's and 90's of which he took part. We arrive home and he shows us some cool computer stuff.
After Midnight. L&N head for their home followed by the In-Laws, likewise. The Wife repairs to Bed.
Alone at last.
I pop in a DVD and relax. Sometime after 1 in the am.
I remember absolutely nothing of my movie or of turning off the TV but somehow make it safely next to her.
When I have a tankful of beer, shochu, whiskey and cigarettes I very rarely have dreams of any kind, this time is no exception.
10:45, Monday morning, eyes open.
It's time to make the doughnuts.