Friday, November 12, 2010

Popolare, Iidabashi

I like to admit when I make mistakes. I don't like people who don't admit when they made mistakes. I made a horrible mistake today, I feel a complete boob, and I want to apologize deeply and sincerely to Mayu, who suffered with me in this mistake. Sorry dude. For Japanese readers wondering about Mayu's nickname and the fact that he's clearly a 'dude', sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

We had a...strong evening when he arrived from Korea on Thursday - sort of a grand tour of Monnaka. In case you're wondering what would be on a grand tour when you visit, we would try to go to Hanabishi, likely be turned away, go across to Ogawa instead, then down the street to Shoujou, move on to Tsurugi since they're open late, and finish up somewhere else. Or not. There are plenty of cool places.

The next day, he confessed a deep desire to visit Yasukuni - and an unawareness of any right-wing activity surrounding it. He's just been reading some books about it and was interested in the museum and the Japanese perspective on the 100-or-so years leading up to the end of double-u double-u two. Unfortunately there were no nutjobs protesting our presence, just the big, brutal metal torii that marks the start of the shrine across from the Budokan, at the top of Kudanzaka. We both came away from the museum feeling like if you left out the treatment of the obvious hot-button issues (Manchuria! Nanking! Korea! Comfort women!), it was pretty balanced about Japan's history and the context for the various wars that led to a lot of people's spirits being enshrined at Yasukuni.

And then we started walking, heading through Iidabashi toward Kagurazaka. We went to the shitty Italian restaurant upstairs from this OK-looking French place. Again, I'm really sorry, and I apologize to you and to myself for wasting our precious Friday-in-Iidabashi lunch. What a dumbass.

I saw the interior and should have called it off...

But no, we got a dumpy plate of pasta with bacon and mushrooms,

and another with a little tomato sauce that was 'studded with nubbins of fresh mozzarella', as I'd say if I was a food writer.

Jesus, this sucked. Please give me the strength not to pick something this bad for my friend, ever, ever again. Amen.

At least we could see a funny barber on the way out. Not like the funny barbers in Korea where Mayu lives. I would have preferred a good lunch to seeing this door though.

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