Saturday, August 1, 2009

Narita Airport Stopover

After nearly missing my connecting flight from Washington Dulles to Tokyo (D'oh!! Note to self: check before assuming a very similar flight is a codeshare!), it's now 24 hours since I started my journey to Taipei. Where better to lay over for a couple of hours than my old stamping ground, Japan? It's a good chance to practise language skills: if they answer you in English you have failed - play him off, Keyboard Cat! And the perfect opportunity to get some real Japanese food. The restaurants where I live in the US are labeled "Japanese food" but are run by Chinese people...meaning they're about as Japanese as I am. 2500yen at Narita Airport gets you one of the many Kansai soul foods - Unajuu (broiled eel layered on rice).
How authentic is it? Lemme see... Square lacquered wooden box with a lid on it? Check. Eel liver soup in a wooden cup - also with lid on it, and the eel liver actually present? Check. Eel nicely arranged on top of rice and not smothered in nori-flakes and/or sesame seeds? Check. Taro (sweet soy sauce) added in a small quantity to the eel just before grilling, not dumped on top of it like barbecue sauce on a 4th of July hamburger, destroying the flavor? Oh yeah!. Good stuff.

No cellphone signal (so no change there) but I can take a nice picture of the calligraphy at the restaurant with the cellphone anyway. If you read the hiragana, you can see the way they've made the eel into the "U" character for Unagi.

Only one real "beef": the airport shops have inspired a haiku:

At home waits my fridge.
Refrigerator magnet:
Are you in Japan?

Travel safe! UncleDes

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