Went to imoya for lunch today (note to self: write entry about how easy it is to fall into ruts).
Two big milestones!
It wasn’t that hot today, but it was bright, sunny and a bit humid, but it was still nice to get off my bike, walk into the restaurant and be surprised by a cool blast of air. I was even more thankful the AC was on when I sat down at the only available seat at the counter — it was about one foot away from the big, honking pot of 400 degree sesame oil.
Background: I’ve been going to imoya more or less weekly since we got to Japan in November. I’ve asked this guy all kinds of questions and have shown a fairly high-level of interest in what’s going on. Despite this, he has never spoken a word to me unless I asked him a direct question.
Today, I asked him about a fish I wasn’t familiar with (ayu. My wordtank translates it as “sweetfish”, which means about as much to me as ayu. It’s a freshwater fish, about the size of a small sardine). He told me “Fish. Small fish.” in Japanese and then went back to work. But, then 5 minutes later, he turned to me and said “Later in the season, we get them bigger — like this,” indicating the ayu’s eventual size with his thumb and pinky, “they’re even better then.” I figure by this time next year we’ll be golfing together.