Diary: Kissaten cafés, sharp knife, drs observations and daily views

streetcar/ tram/ trolley (your choice) in Okayama

Amidst the “specialness” of life – which included of late:

  • trip to Nagasaki and all the glorious trains, building and museums  (well documented elsewhere)
  • Mae Maes spring concert in Tamano (artifacts to follow)
  • baby coming! (and related prep)
  • 10 years anniversary of Vancouver Olympics (which was such a big deal for me and i meant to do “something” to commemorate, but ya know, this feeling was overridden with ambivalence (but do have some notes and copy/pastes i’ll get to before 11th anniversary)

– is the “regular out n abouts” of life. These moments are treasure and, as memory fades, are quickly lost to the “exciting bits” never the less, i capture and archive for me, for others like me, for the little one, for the future, for the process. You know this already so behold, more of the usual: trams, coffees, meals, and various items spotted in the wild. 

Ergo, just things, observed / scenes of life in Okayama, en route to “seitai” treatment session:

* fine bicycle (wagyu burgers in bg) at sunny intersection 

* non-chronological aside but related / wagyu burger (with Ted) / as an additional aside, compared to 25+ years ago when I was first year, so much more international food available, to go along with the obviously fantastic Japanese native food… Would having pizzas, mighty burgers, lots of India/Nepal food, there are Mexican food places but i don’t wanna be disappointed – Anyway we do not lack for fantastic food even in our small city

* angled manshon apartment bldg, striking against the sky (this is parking lot for seitai sensei)

* ikebana and scroll at sensei’s office

* vaguely mysterious signage for office/clinic

* and the tranquil seitai treatment room / he is really quite marvellous

* yellow spring buds (and wabi sabi rusty sign)

* detail of spring buds coming 

Then another out n about… on my way to a chiropractic appointment, i snapped:

* curious sculpture by west entrance station

* stopped for a coffee and dug the street view, with the English sign and paper cup, seems could be anywhere

Then another time, we stepped out to get art framed for the Mae Maes concert …

and took a moment to visit a café in a back alley / didn’t stop as just had sweets and we sought lunch (the cafe has a very enjoyable name)

While looking, we enjoyed the tiny community hidden behind / home stacked up atop each other and stones from castle ramparts forming retaining walls, such a little slice of comfort in the midst of the city / rocks, trees, home, rain-slicked for maximum atmosphere

* Kissaten are a type of Japanese diner type restaurant, think of them as community diners, local hangouts, comfort food and ambience, run by friendly owner/operators – often “lost in Showa” and filled with sundry items , bric a brac, miscellany / in this case, a sweet old couple who we chatted with at length.

* Granny makes postcards and collage art and we exchanged items.

* There are racks of dusty mangas, outdated magazines, a few places which need a deep cleaning, plenty of her postcards and prints for sale, a separate smoking area room and the like. 

* Of course, tried their coffee and while not “third wave” was serviceable and well-prepared

* Then i ordered up this delicious tray of classic Japanese lunch which includes little bit of salad and always pickles/tsukemono

* Ryoko ordered cutlets and whatnot and let me add to my ridiculous collection of photos of her eating :)

Then another time after an appointment with Doctor for baby-check, we went to Sakura-mi (which is same cafe we ordered Christmas dinner from for those following along)

We arrived just as opened so had the place to ourselves – its a calm little restaurant with again, sundry items but a little more about feeding a lunchtime rush and then local moms and babies coming by for tea and cake in afternoon.  

Its tidy and has character which are important attributes to me – the coke bottles and canisters of coffee, sugar, flour make it look like could be anywhere

A variety plate for me: rice, croquette, curry, salad, soup… 

And steak for the impending momma who is getting more glowing by the day(!)

Spotted which matchbook collage, dutifully framed and felt like was something from my own collection.

Meanwhile, a big breakfast at home (not usual Japanese breakfast) / note: Japanese Breakfast is also name of a fine young band not from Japan

Another time while Ryoko was at work, i enjoyed a quick healthy lunch al fresco

Ryoko had a work project to plant potatoes at the supermarket parking lot garden you may recall / while the interactive group portion was cancelled for public health reasons, she dutifully prepared the seed spuds and let them mold or whatever to be most ready for growing (as seen in trays in back of the K-truck)

A two-week-long headache means it’s a double coffee morning here at Tsuchida cottage with a pourover and a mokapot…

Of course, i carried on at home, dutifully trying to wrap up a few lingering life admin projects including my “stuff” arriving from a storage locker, a few complicated tax conundrums and excitedly my Jack Kerouac sc/roll storymaking workshop.

Sharpening my tools for this preso, more to tell but i meantime, i am just hoping doesn’t get cancelled for public health reasons

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Worth noting for the record, that after Nagasaki trip, had a real rough patch with my body / you know i am incredible sensitive and if i do too much or get over-stim’ed, i go into “crash mode” and my goodness i did, so bad did a couple hospital visits for MRIs as the pain was too much and i was concerned something else going on. Was scary and frustrating as i hate losing time to endless medicalization of life as i have so many projects i want to wrap up and bring to the world / i remind myself “patience and time are allies” but when every nerve in body is piercing electric shock pain, its often hard to remember this and i just wanna make make make and share share share cause thats who i am and what fills me with goodness. But i also recall, life is wonderful, i am loved, i love and i can let go and go with the current of the river of life. 

Whatcha think?