Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Company

「今日、おいしいとんかつを食べに行きませんか?台湾で買って来たガイドブックの中でおすすめのお店があるんですが ... 関内駅の近く、明治時代(や大正時代?)からの古いとんかつ屋さんがあるみたい。一緒に食べに行きませんか?」YC approached me during lunch hours.

「おいしいビールもあるよ!」YC added.

「行く行く! ああーとんかつか ... 楽しみに〜」I said.

ごめん、ラングウェッジセンターで日本語しか話せなかったの。

It must have been one of the afternoons towards the end of the week. Or at least one of the days when I'd finished my speech for the day and could somewhat slack off from hours of studying at Mos Burger in the evening.

2 days before the 隅田川花火大会.

5 pm, we took an easy stroll around the neighborhood of 関内 and at last located the restaurant. A tiny little shop tugged in between a few beer houses and pachinko parlors, those that boast flashy neon signs and absolutely unbearable noise and cigarette smell that flow out into the street whenever someone goes in or walks out of the parlor. A navy blue door curtain opened the way to a little wooden screen door, inviting us into a cozy little shop with a few customers starting their pre-dinner snacks in the corner. 「いらっしゃいませ〜」, the middle-aged woman welcomed us, leading our way to the counter in front of a wide, open kitchen.

「じゃ、これを二つ ... あと ...」YC pointed the signature dish on the menu and then glanced at me quickly, wondering if I'd like anything else.

「あと ... ビールを二つお願いしますー」I added, making a "V" sign to the lady.

We both laughed. Who cares about work tonight. The night is still very young.

Sometimes good conversations cannot take place without the company of good food and chilled beer. Summer time, I'd trade anything for the latter two.

Can't remember everything that we talked about that night, but a pervasive sense of past nostalgia and excitement towards the future flew in and out of the conversation. 「就把這個夏天當做是犒賞自己了辛苦三年的一個長假吧。每天吃好玩好去新的地方看新的事物。不要想太多。九月分還沒來嘛 ... 現在休息好了、當九月分來的時候自然就休息夠啦,right?」I think I told YC this, somewhere along those lines.

「還有,心煩就找我喝酒吧!這邊的酒這麼棒,不喝可惜」I added.

「ああー夏にやっぱりビールは最高だよね〜」At last I said, lamenting that the last sip in the glass had been taken.

Also hit the arcade center that night and did some little damage to our wallets. Then the night closed with silly trying and tasting of glittering lipsticks/eye shadows in a neighborhood drugstore.

「じゃね、また明日!スピーチ頑張ってね!」I said, waving her goodbye, taking a slow walk back home.

Most of the shops had by then closed except, again, a few pachinko parlors with blasting music that continued to hurt my eardrum as I walked by. I couldn't see the stars that night, but I could feel the warm, evening breeze brushing against my bare arms. For a moment I almost thought I could hear the sound of the waves from the bay just a few miles away.

「好像放了一個好長好長的假」,I said to YC tonight, staring at the empty glass of margarita in front of me, . 「從那天我們去吃とんかつ的晚上到現在。」

「長假?可是 ... 發生了好多事情,把自己弄的好累 ... 」YC said.

「嗯,課業上的長假吧。覺得自己花了一年 -- 真的是一整年 -- 去追求一個最後仍然沒有得到的東西。」I explained, playing with the empty glass in my hand.

「所以,或許長假即將結束了吧 ... 要開始好好用功囉!」I said, letting out a little sigh.

瀨名和小南的長假給了他們新生的力量。我的長假 -- 或許 -- 最終也還是有點什麼意義吧,雖然現在還看不是很清楚。

In memory of that beginning stage of this very long vacation.

As well as those carefree days in Yokohama that set the beginning of a very faithful friendship/companionship with YC.

梅ちゃん at 1:50:00 PM

2comments

2 Comments

at 12/13/06, 2:56 AM Blogger Chat Noir said...

i'm here and will be here to support you all the time.

 
at 12/13/06, 4:49 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a little shop called Temari that serves this purpose for me in DC. But 4 miles from his home, it serves brilliant Gyu-don. Frequently, we find ourselves engorged upon several bowls of the stuff, with a couple bottles of Kirin Ichiban, Sapporo or Asahi. There are many conversations that can't occur without the somewhat mysterious community enhancing effects of EtOH. :)

Kanpai!

I'm glad that you've had such good fare and friendship.

 

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