Friday, September 01, 2006

'See Japan.' Check!

Today, taking a taxi back from an event I'd attended on behalf of the consulate, I chatted a bit with the driver. "What things do you recommend I do while I'm in Japan?" I asked him.

"Well..." he strummed his gloved fingers on the steering wheel, considering. "Have you been to Koya-san? That's a really wonderful place."

"I was just there a couple of weeks ago, for the Candle Festival," I told him.

"Ah. I see." More strumming. "Have you climbed Mt. Fuji?"

"I did that my first time in Japan. It was beautiful. I don't think I'd do it again though; you know the saying: 'If you don't climb it once, you're stupid; if you climb it twice, you're stupid.'"

"Yes, that's true. Say, I'll bet you've never seen sumo!"

"Oh, well actually... I saw a tournament in Osaka."

"Have you been to a hot springs?"

"Yes, many times. They're great."

"Have you eaten a lot of japanese food?"

"Yes."

"Pufferfish sashimi?"

"Yes."

"Fermented soy beans?"

"Yes."

"Any Osaka food?"

"I especially like okonomiyaki."

"Hmm." He thought a bit longer, raising one hand up from the steering wheel to adjust his glasses. "Sounds like you've really seen Japan."

I guess I can go home now!

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