Monday, October 5, 2009

Is that your elbow in my cheek or are you just...


Happy October gentle readers. I have outstanding emails and comments to attend to, I know, but I wanted to get this off and out before we hit November. I've a couple excuses for my laxness, starting with a trip to NYC to prop up the economy with shopping dollars. That and to be very bad and eat toasted salt bagels every morning. And to go to dark bars where they play honky-tonk music and you have to ring a doorbell to get in. I think I understand now why some people never leave the island. Manhattan that is, not Honshu. Tell me, where else will a complete stranger say "God bless you, beautiful" when you walk past them in the street? In Tokyo the best I can hope for is a guy from Nigeria on the main strip in Roppongi calling me "baby" and telling me I can get a free shot of tequila at his bar down the block. That or a host with spun candy-floss hair telling me that I can learn all about Japanese culture if I allow myself to be fixed drinks at his club.

I then had a case of jetlag and by case I mean I felt like I was carrying a suitcase full of sumo wrestlers through water. This was promptly followed by a stye, from which the only relief I got was when the Cowgirl suggested I rub my stink eye with my hand before handing each secretary on my floor her NYC omiyage chocolate. And speaking of omiyage who do you think has an almost full bag of mini chocolates on her desk right now? I always feel so pumped about omiyage-giving when I'm on holiday, daydreaming on the plane home about all the new friends I'll make after I just pass them out on my floor. Reality hits when I arrive back to work, my secretary refuses to acknowledge my existence and the whole omiyage goodwill flies back to the US where it came from. Yes, I am in omiyage hiding at the moment. Pretty soon it will be far too late to hand them out and they will end up in the trash. Or I will conduct a ritual burning of them.

But like I was saying, Happy October. There is plenty to love about my birth month: Halloween, miniature Hershey's chocolates, the smell of fall and the Tokyo International Film Festival. One thing I will not include in this list however, is the little devil's pitchfork the guy is using in this month's poster to shovel instant ramen into his mouth. Does the Lichtenstein-esque graphic nature of this poster prevent the depiction of chopsticks? Is it a coy nod to Halloween? I will give them this though: the raised eyebrow and hunched shoulder poise captures that of a Japanese man sucking back hot ramen or soba perfectly. I hear that some foreigners here are put off by the requisite sound of this; I on the other hand think it's a beautiful thing. I should qualify that by saying that some nasty old salarymen doing it is not so beautiful but the first time I saw the beau eating ramen was quite possibly the moment I fell in love. He is a champ at the ramen/soba slurp and makes it look so delicious! Plus watching him brought back memories of watching Tampopo when I was 5 with my parents. If only my 5-year old self had known that watching Tampopo would set off a mysterious chain of events that would one day lead me to my own ramen slurper.

Replies to previous comments and more ridiculousness to come...

7 comments:

Lisa said...

Happy birthday month! October is my favorite month.

Tornadoes28 said...

Why would the guy next to him be so annoyed. Just because there is an elbow being stuck in his eyeball? I think the other people look like zombies.

Julie said...

Welcome back!

Kelsey in Japan said...

Glad you're back!

Do you usually do something for Halloween?

aneki said...

Can totally understand the omiyage thing. I see myself generously handing out omiyage to colleagues when I am back home.
But once I come back to work I feel the urge to stuff everything into my mouth to sedate myself.

Little-Saiyajin said...

Welcome back, and I hope you had a goof birthday!

Green-Eyed Geisha said...

Thank you for the kind wishes everyone! :) Sorry I have been so lax on the replying front lately.

Kelsey: In the past I have either done absolutely nothing for Halloween or gone to a party at a club. Last year my lovely friend got us free tickets to the Metropolis bash and it was shamefully run. They sold too many tickets and couldn't let ticketholders in because they reached capacity early in the night. Once we got in it was uncomfortably packed. They are holding it this year in Roppongi but I was so unimpressed with the unprofessionalism of last year's I probably wouldn't give going a thought. Lots of other parties to go to though...

aneki: That is EXACTLY what happens to me every time. I feel so excited at the prospect of spreading good omiyage karma but when it comes to the actually spreading, I tend to freak out and abandon ship.