Let it snow


I got up this morning, stuffed all my dirty shirts, underpants and socks into my suitcase, and went down to the lobby of the hotel to enjoy for the last time the WiFi network that didn’t actually connect to the internet, and the complimentary rubber croissants they served for breakfast. Outside, a flurry of snow caught my eye; I abandoned my baggage and went outside to take a look.

I was not alone. Apart from the poor sods on the building site over the road, there were also two women out in the cold, taking selfies with the snow and the expressway as a backdrop. I was so bewitched with the beauty of the scene that I too had to record the majesty of some concrete and a bit of frozen water. Having lived in Singapore so long, I’ve forgotten the simple wonder of snow and winter weather. Then I realised how cold I was, and went back inside to eat more "croissants".

I took a taxi to the office, then bought a cappuccino that bore a passing resemblance to the coffee-and-milk-based drink of the same name, and went up to the top floor. It amazes me that, even as Japan demonstrates a genius for reproducing cuisine from every culture (like my pizza on Sunday night) it simultaneously has the ability to pastiche the simplest of meals. A Japanese sandwich, a horror show of crustless white bread and spongy vegetables. The hotel croissants. Domino’s pizza. None of these things are the output of somebody who cares about food. Hey, perhaps they didn’t involve a person who has an actual stomach or taste buds.

Still, after that food failure, I made up for things at lunch by going to Toranemon Hills and eating tofu. A meal so wonderful I couldn’t remember it until I checked my calendar this evening.

However, that may have been because this evening I had another boozy dinner in Roppongi, this time washing down avocado dip, Greek salad and a vegan burger with extra Swiss cheese on it with a glass of beer and some wine. This evening has been the last of so many nights of drinking in Japan, and I’d sworn after Saturday’s boozeathon that I wouldn’t have any more alcohol this quarter. Fat chance of that.

I took a taxi to Haneda and checked in. I was in that unfortunate position where I’d drunk too much, but not enough; it was clear I was plastered, but not enough to insulate my mind from the trauma of international travel. I took off my belt, put on my belt, walked for what seemed like ages and found my departure gate.

Outside, there was no snow. Only rain, and the dark. Home in eight hours, and perhaps an end to the booze, if only for a while.


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