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Back to the Big Smoke

Posted on 2007/11/19 20:42:51 (November 2007).

[Friday 16th November]
Got the train from South Wales back to London in the morning, and was back in the capital by lunchtime. I thought it might be a nice opportunity to go and meet Chie for lunch in the area around where she works. Actually it's the first time I've been able to do this, as generally speaking whenever I've had a day off Chie has as well, and we've been going somewhere.

Chie works in the City, and I was very much struck by the contrast - not just with the fact that I'd spent the last week out in the sticks, but also the contrast with my own working environment. Mine is very much a jeans and t-shirt sort of company (and I occasionally cast disdainful looks to people who clearly don't get this and turn up for work in "business casual" - agh), but around where Chie works everyone seems to wear smart business type clothes. I can't help but wonder, what actually is the point of that? The company I work for has to be considered among the most successful in the world right now, and yet you'd never catch the founders in suits.

Anywho, we had a nice lunch (although it was a confusingly novelty actually having to pay for lunch for a change) followed by a coffee, before Chie headed back to work. I then went back to the flat to drop off my things, and made an appointment at the hairdresser for later on that afternoon. Didn't do much in the intervening time really - just wiled it away watching telly and generally being quite happy that I had nothing in particular I needed to be doing.

I got my hair cut at 7 by the ever wonderful Tomoko-san, and enjoyed the usual Japanese chat with her. In fact this time I'd even booked my appointment in Japanese (for some reason I find speaking Japanese on the phone particularly intimidating, and so usually chicken out and revert to English). During our little chat I was surprised to learn that Tomoko-san had lived in the same part of Tokyo as us, and went to a lot of the same restaurants we used to - this is no small feat given that Tokyo is pretty much the biggest city in the world, and the number of places to eat is probably in the tens of thousands.

Chie came to meet me at the hairdresser when I'd finished, and we then wandered down the road to Rice Wine Shop to buy some stuff for dinner. We then retired back home and enjoyed a wintery Japanese feast - the centre piece being yudofu (lightly boiled tofu in a seaweed stock), but with many of the usual trimmings like kimchi, umeboshi, and of course Sapporo!

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