rude little shop lady
er, so ya, anyway, today I met a Akiko in Shimokitazawa for lunch today. I decided to ride my bike there even though it was raining (and I neurotically ziploc-ed my wallet and phone just in case I got stuck in a downpour). I got a little bit lost on the way and overshot it, which I realized when I found myself in front of the iconic Tokyo University building. (I think getting lost to the degree of doubling the length of the trip counts as adding distance for the summer games) It took me pretty much an hour to get there, and while with the light rain it wasn’t an unpleasant ride, I’m not sure it is one I would happily embark on again just because there is a lot of up and down hills, and unless I find a better way, a lot of Yamate dori and Inokashira dori, which are both stinky and full of traffic.
After I found my way back from Tokyo University to Shimokitazawa, I found Akiko waiting for me in front of the station, and she took me to this great cafe for lunch. It has an organic market at the front, and all organic food inside. It’s called the Nomin cafe (Farmer’s cafe). It was really lovely and we sat on the back porch for lunch.
We were walking around Shimokita after lunch just
browsing and we passed this little cluttered fabric store that had some aprons out front. I need an apron for my Japanese painting class and I keep meaning to pick one up, so we stopped and found one. I went inside and paid, and as I came out, winding my way past the clutter, I saw one of the store ladies chatting to Akiko, explaining to her how these particular men
‘s pyjamas were a really good deal, while Akiko nodd
ed politely. As I joined her the woman said to her “Should we congratulate her?” and at first I wasn’t quite sure what she meant, but it was followed by Akiko shaking her head and the woman saying “oh, foreigners’ stomachs really stick out huh?” to which Akiko, who was turning quite red, told the rather short late middle aged woman (who was fairly round and had both muffin top and a few tires above that) that I speak Japanese. This had not the effect you might think on the shop lady who turned to me and said, “oh but you Westerners eat a lot of greasy and fried foods, right?
That’s why your stomachs stick out.” To which I politely replied, “Actually I eat mostly a Japanese diet.” BUT NO, it continued! “Oh, you should exercise then. Foreigners don’t exercise so their stomachs stick out.” To which I replied, “Well, I have been laid out sick for three weeks so maybe I have lost some muscle tone.” “Well, you should start exercising again.” And to which I said, “Well I did ride an hour across town to get here, so, yes yes, I’m exercising.”
It was pretty funny, but I’m also sure I will now hate the dress I was wearing
forever. And it’s such a cute Smoking Lily dress… sigh. Pushy old mean lady. Dammit.
I thought this was a great shot of bikes…
We came across this store, which I am pretty sure is the one that Hide from the TV show Ainori opened when he finally left the show after three years. That’s Beaute in front.
Akiko and I shopped a bit (but bought nothing other than an elastic basket cover and rain cover for my bike basket at Daiso) and then stopped at a place for tea. At first it looked like maybe a bad choice as it stank of 1992 decor, but actually it was lovely and super super scrumptious. My scones were divine and Akiko’s chiffon cake looked pretty impressive.
I managed to get home following the Keio train tracks as much as possible but with a few confusing turns, and coming up through Shibuya (rather than down past Yoyogi like I had gone out). I made it home in much less time, but biking through Shibuya at rush hour is never an easy feat.
Oh, and good news. I wrote an email to the company I ordered my bike from and they called back to say they are going to send someone here to the house to fix my bike handle grip. Woo Hooo!!!! (I guess I will put off the leather grips for a while)