Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tokyo Flashbacks


I love living in California, I really do. But sometimes I have flashbacks to life in Tokyo and I get a little nostalgic. There are many things that are special about that city that San Francisco just can't match. Sometimes I miss it pretty profoundly.

I miss wearing a suit and walking between skyscrapers. It made me feel like a somebody.

I miss slurping down a bowl of noodles for lunch when I was in a rush. It's amazing how something so simple and quick can be so satisfying.

I miss making my way out of crowded subway stations. It made me feel like I was part of the hustle and bustle.

I miss looking out across Tokyo through floor-to-ceiling windows from my desk on the 32nd floor. It made me feel powerful.

I miss knocking back Asahis over izakaya food and talking with friends. Those were some of my most relaxed moments.

I miss getting lost in the city's back streets. It made me feel like I was always on an adventure and discovering new things.

I miss walking out onto neon-lined streets at night. It made me feel like I was surrounded by the city's energy.

And that's just the start of it.

Last weekend, I had one of those moments of nostalgia. With nasty weather limiting my options for going out, I decided to do my best to recreate bits of Tokyo in my own house.

There was a little soba place right by my office that made awesome soba. It was a little hole-in-the-wall shop in the basement of a building with nothing else nearby, but people would still line up for it every day. My favorite thing to get their was tanuki soba. I made my own tsuyu from scratch and took a shot at recreating it. My version wasn't nearly as good, but it still put a smile on my face.

I drank a lot of beer when I lived over there. I really mean a lot. I don't really like beer that much, but Asahi Super Dry has a taste that I love. I could drink it like water. Even though Trader Joe's carries it, I still don't have it very often here but every time I do it brings back a wave of memories and emotions. I picked up one of their large bottles and knocked it back. It was somehow very comforting and made me think I should have it more.

I don't regret my decision to leave Tokyo - it was what I needed to do at that moment in time. It's easy to only remember the good parts and overlook the bad (of which their were plenty). I think San Francisco is the right place for me to be and I'm happy with my choice to come here, but Tokyo will always hold a special place in my heart. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. I just need to sort out the right way to keep it a part of my life back here.