sunday started early; i had spent the morning checking out work and living spaces, clearing, shuttering, securing. even though we had started yesterday, there's always something else. winds started picking up on saturday night, and by noon were at 20 to 30 mph. right about then i remembered i hadn't eaten yet, but with the typhoon quickly approaching (3 hours and counting), few places were open. there is a fuji-ichiban ramen shop that is always open, i thought i would chance it. luckily, it was open. unluckily, it was packed, and there wasn't any parking available. ominously, as i searched for a space, i peered into the window and realised that there was someone being arrested inside. okaaay. there's a smaller branch, just up the street, so i headed there.
ah, only two tables occupied; i sat at the counter. the only sounds besides the howling wind were the drone of the newscaster on the radio, giving updates on the storm and the faint sizzle of cooking in the back. 30 to 40 mph winds by 4pm...shelters in the north are full...this is a very dangerous storm..... the other diners had grim faces and were silent. two older men sat towards the front, staring blankly out the rain spattered window, nursing beers. the family in the back had their heads down in their ramen, determinedly eating with no joy. a little girl whined petulantly, but softly, knowing there would be nothing to appease her. i ordered something that would be fast and filling, and just then, the lights went out. the waitress looked at me, with her mouth set in a straight line and a look that said this is when it begins. the door gusted open, as if to affirm her thought.
as i waited for my food, the waitress picked up a mop and a squeegee, and set futilely to stem the tide at the door. try to catch the deluge in a paper cup....the two men decided now was a good a time as any to leave, and the family in the back discussed getting a hotel room across the street, instead of trying to make it home. the woman peered at it. "no shutters." she murmured. "last time they had to evacuate everyone. we're safer at home." so they quickly gathered up their things, paid the bill, and i was left alone with the waitress and the lone cook.
the cook came over with my food. "how long do you have to stay here?" i asked. he shrugged. "i don't know. our boss wants us to stay. but he's safe at home." "i should be your last customer." mild outrage poured out of me. i ate my food without thinking about it, but knowing i needed to fill my stomach. it was only after i finished my last gyoza that i realised today was imbb day. there was nothing cute about these dumplings, no comfort, no joy, no reassurance, despite the fact that they were hot and nourishing. i paid my bill, left a generous tip and advised the staff to leave, and literally took off, myself.
sometimes food is just food.
Posted by santos. This entry was posted on 20040824 at 2:38 PM You can skip to the end and leave a response.