Some high points and good-bye

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Yesterday I took out the ol’ mama-chari for one last pedal down memory lane and etcetera. I followed the route I used to ride taking my kids in a front-handlebar carrier to Matsugamine pre-school.

1. Ye olde ramen shop. It’s shuttered now but for ten years it served up the best ramen and gyoza I had before or since. My kids were raised on ramen, gyoza, and giant dollops of fiery-red Rayu. That’s why they grew up to have strong bones and stronger stomachs and etcetera.


2. Ye olde falling down shit-hole. My whole family of six lived in one of these 200-sf shacks for almost a year while Honorable-in-Laws were building the new house. It was the happiest of times in between long periods of wanting to kill each other.


3. Ye olde Japanese homes. The whole city was filled with these once upon a time. Now they are hidden nooks.

4. Ye olde sword school. Yelling and crashing into each other with bamboo swords and practicing stuff that looked like it hurt more than bicycles and etcetera.


5. Ye olde terrible barber shop. Truly the worst haircuts ever. But I patronized them because superlatives are rare in this world and deserving of honor and etcetera.


6. Ye olde cobwebs after rain. These were always worth stopping and looking at and etcetera, nature’s lacework and silver silken sheen.


7. Ye olde guitar shop. I bought a Gibson Byrdland here for $3,ooo that I never could play and re-sold it for $2,000, setting up my life’s pattern of investments and etcetera.


8. Ye olde Italian Tomato. It used to be in the Ueno Department Store building next to Futaara Shrine before they tore the building down. One of my first dates with Yasuko where we ate tuna sandwiches and cornflake parfaits and etcetera.


9. Ye olde tea shoppe. Being pretentiously me used to include extolling the virtues and gradations of green tea. My go-to pretentious place was Sekiguchi-en, where real tea lovers and pretentious wankers coexisted peacefully and etcetera. They tore down the lovely old wooden building, scented with decades of tea leaves, and replaced it with hard glass and steel.


10. Ye olde pretentious coffee shop. This place didn’t exist then nor did coffee shops, much, in the pre-Skubrats days, which made it hard for pretentiously me to hang out in public flaunting books I only dimly understood. Now I can display my fakery in full view and etcetera. I do need a beret, however.


11. Ye olde murderous bike lane. Res ipsa loquitur.


12. Ye olde Kobori puff-cake. Needs no introduction except to say that if you are in a bike race and you have to choose between being a hardman-hardwoman or a Kobori puff cake, you should always choose the puff cake and etcetera.


13. Ye olde kotatsu. Low table with heating element and recess inside that keeps your parts warm. Makes it difficult when you have toasty parts to do things like get up and go to work, catch flights home and etcetera.

14. Ye olde hotoke-sama. It’s important to pray to the family spirits even if all you’re really doing is silently complaining about the pain in your knees from having to sit on them and etcetera.

END

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