Saturday, May 16, 2009

Happiness, Tokyo

There's one simple bit of mathematics that defines vacations for me (and some others, I think, since it was Scott that first clued me in to this logic):
Narita Express + ekiben + beer = happiness.
At the risk of blogging about every damn thing I eat, and boring those who are familiar with it (as I imagine everyone in Japan must be, but who knows):
Ekiben is the normal contraction of 'eki bento', i.e. a lunchbox purchased at a train station. There are people who go places and kinda 'collect' ekiben experiences, and there are some places that are famous for their ekiben (Like the salmon-on-rice pinwheel ekiben in Toyama; that's the only one I really know.).
Personally I think Tokyo Station should be famous too. There's a solid range of bento, and they're really good. To get this trip off on the right foot, I was really looking forward to a Hokkaido bento (ooh, that's a dumb thing to admit, isn't it?), which is crab and salmon roe and maybe some other stuff...pure cholesterol. Fortunately they didn't have that now (presumably it's not wintery enough) and I ended up with this 'snack' bento.
Japan is great, isn't it? For 10 bucks you get all this food, it's pretty good, and you get a ton of variety. I think I counted 17 different items in here. The deep-fried quail eggs on the left were nice, ish, the vegetables were good as always, and the flavored rice and pickles were quite good. The chicken gizzard (lower left of the left tray) is not my favorite item, and somehow the deep-fried lotus root at top center had a texture extraordinarily resemblant of cardboard. So this wasn't the best Tokyo ekiben ever, but I least I got to make up a new word for the language. And there's no disputing the math that proves vacation has started!
In other news, I'll spare you the other news about yucky plane and airport food. You know the drill. But this late-night French-Canadian tomato juice cracked me up. Something about the eerie lighting and retro can, to say nothing of the 'Fantasy of Canada' or the crazy angle at which it was tilted.






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