As most people who know me know, I'm a creature of habit, even when I come here to Japan. I fall back into patterns and rituals I've been following for years. Every monring when I get up, it's the same thing...
I drag my ass out of bed, pop on the computer and TV, then check e-mail and the net while catching up on the Japanese news. Then I get dressed and head out for my morning walk. I hit the local train station where they sell English newspapers and pick up the Japan Times and the Daily Yomiuri, which offer differing perspectives on the news. The Japan Times tends to be a more international paper, catering to English speakers from all over the world, while I find the Yomiuri to focus more on Japan and the States. I then hit one of the local convenience stores and buy a bottle or two of iced cafe au lait before heading over to my favorite bakery, L'Ours Blanc. There, I usally buy two things, one is a pretzel-like roll with pieces of spicy sausage in it, seen on the left in the picture, and the other is a longer bun stuffed with potato salad and peppered bacon. Both are out of this world!
I've been doing this same thing for about five years now which I was reminded of yesterday when I walked into the bakery for the first time since last year and this girl shouted, "I remember you!" in English. I quickly realized she wasn't singing along with Skid Row when she started pointing at me. "You come when big building in New York fall.", she continued. And then it hit me that she was talking about the time I started frequenting the bakery, right after it opened, shortly after 9/11. Mutsumi and I came to Japan about a week after the Twin Towers fell and this girl was working there back then. I guess her and I used to speak on a daily basis when she sold me my breakfast as she even remembered I worked in comics. She explained she's been studying English for the last three years but doesn't get the chance to speak with too many foreigners, so I ended up helping her practice for about 20 minutes yesterday. Turns out she's a big movie fan and can't wait for the release of Spider-Man 3 next year.
I got a free cake out of the deal.