This side of Nagasaki (day 4)
Customer meeting in the morning on the 25th floor of the most incredible office building. We sat in big leather arm chairs in a room also from the pages of Zen Homes and Gardens (Business Edition). There was a courtyard out the window with four or five bonsai trees of various varieties and a combined age of about 1000 years.
My dad used to make bonsai. I wonder what he did with all his trees; if he took the to Spain with him. Made me want to learn how to do it.
Meeting went well. Very formal with lots of rules and protocol that I tried hard to understand and not to violate. I figured out the bit about receiving a business card with both hands and reading every detail and continue holding it with both hands until the conversation is over. Complicated stuff.
The coffee lady put on quite a show, delivering each cup one by one and, kneeling, presenting it carefully with lots of turning and arranging of spoons. I had one of those moments where I was glad no-one asked me a question because I would have had no clue what they were talking about, I was so engrossed in the coffee lady’s art.
I had the rest of the day off so I did 18 laps of Ginza looking for gifts for my childers. I was looking for dolls or miniatures of their favourite anime characters but didn’t find anything appropriate. I did find an excellent fish market though with lots of sushi in various stages of preparation from swimming around in a tank to huge slabs on ice to beautifully presented on a plate.
I also found a noodle stand – one my goals – during the lunchtime rush hour. Again with the performance and the sizzling and bubbling and splashing of sauces. The two very old chefs worked as a team, with one tossing the noodles and ladling giant portions from enormous cauldrons into 6 enormous bowls at a time while the other carefully applied pieces of meat, vegetables and other bits and pieces.
When the noodles were ready I stood, with all the other customers, on a busy sidewalk and tried to echo their impressive guuuurrrgling and scchhhllleeeurrrping sounds. My wife would have been so proud!