Friday, December 26, 2008

Twitterpated in Kamakura

Mercy, mercy me! Whenever I see a strikingly handsome boy, I feel like I never left high school. Apparently I turned bright pink at dinner, when I eyed this drop-dead gorgeous Lee-Hom/Takeshi Kaneshiro hybrid.

You see, today we headed to the very old and lovely district of Kamakura for our token cultural outing to see a Shinto shrine and the Daibutsu (Great Buddha), after over a week of lots of shopping, pavement-pounding, and eating ourselves silly. We started the day off on Komachi-dori, this quaint street that’s lined with lots of food shops that give out free samples – pure joy! I had fish balls, mochi, fresh senbei (rice crackers), a fresh red bean bun, taiyaki (fish-shaped pastry) filled with black sesame paste, ice cream made with Meiji milk (this Japanese brand of milk that my mom’s a little obsessed with)... It’s a delightful street, and my mum had a field day in the pottery stores.

After shopping, and visiting the shrine, where I accidentally drank the water instead of just gargling with it, we took a taxi to see the Daibutsu. I was a little disappointed that you have to pay to see it – when did we come to commercializing faith? – but it was a good experience. Then again, we totally supported the commercialization of faith by buying omamori (Japanese amulets) outside the shrine. For 20¥ you can go inside the Buddha and climb up the stairs (his back has two windows) but it was too late, so it was closed.

Night had fallen by then, so we decided to pick a place to have dinner. My aunt and uncle wanted to show us this really popular okonomiayki place because we’d never had it before, so we headed back to Komachi-dori. The restaurant is called Horetaro, and it’s sort of out of the way, with the entrance on the side of one of the buildings on the street. It’s really popular because they have this meal that’s a great deal – all-you-can-eat (and drink – non-alcoholic, of course) for 2100¥, and you have 2.5 hours, which is rare, because most casual eateries in Japan (like in other Asian places) kick you out as soon as they can in order to speed up turnover.

Anyway, when we first went into the restaurant, we were told that we were in for a long wait because the place was full. However, as if by a turn of fate, we were seated just minutes later, when my aunt and uncle went off to see if another okonomiyaki place might have room. We were placed upstairs in a special section of the restaurant, where it looked like everyone was sitting on the floor but really, there were holes under the tables for leg space.

When I walked in, I saw him right away, and it felt like I got smacked in the consciousness. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a superficial jerk or if it’s just because he was so outstandingly good-looking, but he instantly caught my attention even though he was sitting in sort of an obscure spot. He had this almost collar-length, slightly layered hairstyle that’s so popular now in Asia, highlighted to about the same colour as mine, a natural brow with piercing brown eyes that were devoid of eye makeup (a rarity here in Japan), a very straight, perfectly-formed nose and this beautiful smile that framed his straight, white teeth. He had perfect skin and a great jaw that sported a hint of a 5 'o-clock shadow. He was long and lean, and he wore a sort of rugged white shirt with some grey design screen-printed on it, under this loose, charcoal grey sweater that was open in the front and rugged jeans with a few zippers, which fit him perfectly – not too fitted and not too baggy.

And he had these beautiful hands! I am a huge sucker for beautiful man hands. I wonder if he’s a musician or an artist. He had long fingers, and while his hands were masculinely-shaped, they kind of had a fine quality to them, his skin pristine. They were very sexy. I can just imagine him running his fingers through my long hair while he holds me – the visual is so, so right. It just totally makes sense. And it was very distracting to watch him cook – he was a total Alpha male, taking charge of the cooking and serving the food to his friends, and then cleaning the grill afterwards.

Okonomiyaki is this Japanese dish that’s sort of a cross between pancakes and omelettes. A bunch of chopped up veggies (chiefly cabbage) is mixed with some sort of meat, seasonings, an egg and some batter. The mixture is poured onto a teppan (a hot, flat griddle-like mechanism that’s built into the table), flipped when the bottom is cooked, then topped with sauce, katsuobushi (fish flakes), seaweed bits and sweet mayonnaise. We also had cook-it-yourself fried soba noodles with pork. It was fun, but the food didn’t really wow me. There are much yummier things in Japanese cuisine, and besides, the smoky smell of the grill stank up our hair and clothes so that we had to rush to shower and do the laundry when we got home.

So he was sitting across and facing me, four seats over to the right, beside the wall. I told my mom that I thought this guy was cute, so of course, she told my aunt right away. I kept glancing at him, and I wonder if he noticed, because within minutes, he moved two seats closer to me, in the same row (basically everyone in that room except us belonged to one huge party of friends). Then a little after that, he moved another seat closer, which put him technically right beside my uncle, who was sitting directly across from me. My aunt joked that he might be trying to move to sit beside me, and that if he does, I should say hi to him. I said I wouldn’t – what would I say afterwards? My mom said that I should ask him if he speaks English. But of course, I wasn’t going to.

Well, wouldn’t you know it? Minutes later, he moved across the table and sat beside me. We were separated only by the strip of floor between us, although with him there, the vantage point for checking him out was not as good. My mom and my aunt kept urging me to talk to him, but thankfully, they were speaking Chinese, which he most probably didn’t understand. But I didn’t make a move because 1.) My mom, aunt and uncle were there – while I’ve made the faux pas of flirting with a boy in front of his mother, I’m not stupid enough to flirt with one in front of mine 2.) I’m leaving in less than a week, and 3.) I just can’t function properly in front of a boy that has totally bowled me over. One look from him and I’d be paralyzed. Well no, that’s not technically true, because we had some very brief eye contact when he caught me checking him out, but if we had any eye contact that lasted more than three seconds, I’d have been finished.

When we were close to leaving, one of the girls in their group came over to mack on him, but according to my aunt, who had a better view of him as she was sitting across from us, he didn’t look impressed at all, which was probably why she disappeared shortly. Then, too soon, we had to leave. As I was putting on my coat with my back to him, my aunt said that he turned his head 90 degrees and was blatantly checking me out for a decent chunk of time. Boy, was I glad that I was having a really good hair/skin day. But I had to leave, and I probably wouldn’t ever see him again, so...nothing happened. I didn’t say anything, and he didn’t either. I took my time when I got up to finally leave because I wanted him to turn around, I wanted to see him one last time – but the server cleaning up our table was in my way. I left the restaurant with my family, and I kept turning around on the street like a total loser, hoping to see him, because his group was paying at the same time we were. I ended up having to use the washroom when we were close to the mouth of the street so I did, and then I insisted on buying dessert at this divine cake shop. When we left the shop a group of young people were right outside, and there he was! It was him! We didn’t approach each other, but I did get my last glance of him, as his friends walked to the subway/train station and we walked to the parking lot.

Now I’m a little sad that I’ll probably never see him again, but I’m thankful that whatever little happened did happen...

1 comment:

Soho500 said...

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The Gals at SoHo