Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ooki, Asakusa (大木洋食店)

I rolled around for hours in the heat, looking at and passing by lunch options one after another. Down a wide but empty street, Ooki stood out. Mostly by the way it retreated into the scenery, humbly nestling behind the tree.

It was already 1:30, and there was no sign of life inside except a voiced-over version of Snatch on the telly. After a few hellos, Ooki san shuffled out from the back room. He was maybe hiding, because I know he was just sitting at the table watching TV before I got there.

For some reason I didn't ask how long he's been at it. Didn't seem proper. From the thin greasiness, I would judge that it could be 50 years, every day from 11 to 9. The framed sign in the center of this picture says today's special is katsu curry. I think that was yesterday's special too, if you take my meaning. Ooki san takes pictures and hangs them around the place, plus other things he likes.

And if you're nice, he'll make you lunch. For me, it was an omrice. This is a big, big one. He fried the rice a lot, with fatty beef that made it delicious, in a pan so old it must be doing a lot for the flavor too. The omelet was completely dry, the way I like it, none of this fancy runny-egg omelet. There's more ketchup than you can shake a stick at; someone thought I must have put this on myself because there's too much for a normal person, and only a weirdo would go crazy like this. I guess Ooki san and I are crazy the same way. He gets up and rides his bike in the morning too, as I learned.

And then we just sat and watched the movie, neither of us understanding it, each for his own reason. 

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