Thursday, June 22, 2017


I made some new friends in a diner/bar in Tokyo last night:

It definitely felt like a Japanese version of Cheers, with me as the topic of last night's episode.

It was a great test run of my limited Japanese language skills.  They dug out a few laminated cards with questions on them (in English for me and in Japanese for them) like, "Where are you from?" and "How long will you stay in Japan?"  I managed to communicate that I'm a Go player, at an amateur 2 dan level (but hoping to get to 5 dan and hence going to Osaka for 1 month to study), that I'm from Boston and teach math at a university (this elicited an excessive amount of awe), and that it was my first time in Japan.  I *think* the wife of the husband-wife proprietor team was trying to tell me that another woman there (who left before this photograph, but after going out and coming back with parfaits for everyone) was some sort of TV personality.  Oh, and the wife-owner also asked me if I was single and then proceeded to try to hook me up with everyone in the bar.

I also got to test out my cards that say I'm allergic to shrimp and shellfish, which seemed to work and resulted in much of the evening spent on a discussion of what I could/should eat.  The guy with the mustache in this photo wanted to get me to eat natto, but I know better.

In the photo: next to me is the wife-owner, the husband-owner is waving, and the other folks are a couple who are clearly regulars.

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