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Finding a Mexican restaurant in Nagoya

Wednesday, December 03, 2008 / Posted by Zackary /

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A little story for you.
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Many streets in Japan don’t have names and most fliers have small maps. Even for the Japanese these maps can be notoriously difficult to read. In Tokyo you see people of all nationalities looking at maps sadly. In Japanzine (see the link on the right hand side) there are great recommendations for clubs and restaurants. Unfortunately, some of the maps are tiny.
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Last year on a cold Thursday in search of a Mexican restaurant I was using a minuscule map. Those that know me realize I am rarely stubborn but do have my moments. (Um, yes I do know where lies go!) After a week of errands which led me to ask for directions at every turn I was tired of it. I swore to find my way own. Seeing the same Super Suit store and Mos Burgers which smelled great, for the fourth time my will power was fading. Hunger was no longer the accurate word, any moment now I was going to pass the starving point. My will power caved in and my stomach said a prayer of thanks.
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Wondering onto a busy street I stopped before a group of young men laughing and obviously looking for fun. Excuse me I said (in Japanese) and they stopped to look at the strange guy with blue eyes. They didn’t speak English but took my map and understood my problem. One of the guys who was more talkative and might have been their leader started to study the map intently. Before long he was making the international sounds of frustration we call grunts. The other guys gathered around him and also focused on my problem. Another guy with make up and more interesting dangling ear rings turned the map upside down. We all studied the map in silence. Another guy that was not wearing make up and looked prettier than the others turned it sideways. This led several more guys to start using the international language again. My sad stomach joined in with them. We didn’t understand each others native language and indeed may have had nothing in common except our affection for ear rings. But in that moment on a busy street in Sakae with rain looming in the horizon we were one.
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Such moments never last of course and none of us were learning anything about the map. One of the guys with a nice leather jacket half heartedly pointed to a side street for me to take but we all knew he was guessing. Leaving them to find their fun I thanked them profusely in Japanese for their time.
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Shoving the map angrily back into my pocket I promised my stomach Mos Burgers or the Mexican place in the next fifteen minutes. Sleepy and starving I wondered from this street to that and finally recognized something from the map. “This must be a hallucination my stomach” said to me. “Hey take what you can get” I told it. Turning the hundredth corner finally there was the Mexican restaurant.
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As we were eating my stomach thanked me for the food but asked when we were going back to Chicago where they know how to make Mexican food. I felt the same and started to hope I could find the train. Almost all Japanese people know the word train and will point you in the right direction. So much I thought for my recent attempt to give up asking for help. Things could be worse, the Japanese people are very nice and seem to enjoy helping out foreigners. Besides I have been lost a few times in my life. Or maybe a few more times than that. If you are a rational person you don't get lost so much I think. If you are a writer and therefore not generally rational you get lost often but sometimes are lucky and find a story in your head.
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Peace & Love & Happiness,
(A great song by Information Society)

^^^^Z

1 comments:

Anonymous on December 4, 2008 at 10:32 AM

What did you order and how bad was it? Is Mexican food similar to a fusion entree with hints & tastes of Japanese mixed with what is assumed to be Mexicano?

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