Three more weeks

For several weeks now, I’ve been going to a local Japanese restaurant and having lunch there, regardless of whether I went with friends or by myself. I go in and greet the Japanese waitress, 「こんにちは」 and for one hour, I can feel like I’m there. Wood is a dominant theme throughout the furniture, a polished wood with a shade as deep and rich as the forests they came from. A wooden panel is all that separates me from the next table. I see Japanese writing on colorful paper balloons, most of it above my ability. The Japanese waitress comes and I order Japanese food made by Japanese chefs, today I’ll take teriyaki.

I was actually planning on making today the last day to eat there. With a college student’s income, and a summer school class that happens during lunch time just over three weeks away, I knew I’d have to stop eventually. I was going to tell the Japanese waitress, 「これは最後の食事ですよ。」 But when I was there, I quickly realized that there was no way I could say such a thing. The paper balloons, the wood, the faces I saw week after week, everything, and everyone was in the same place, as though they were carrying on an old tradition. This was as close to Japan as I could get. It felt impossible for me to stop coming because I didn’t want to stop. I wanted to keep coming here for as long as I could. And so before the chefs said, 「また来週?」, before I even got my teriyaki, I knew, there would be three more weeks.


About Stephen Gabriel Falke

Stephen Gabriel Falke is passionate about loving Jesus and loving Japanese! He grew up in Virginia, America, and first visited Japan in 2007. He then studied abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo for a year in 2012. He also participated in the JET Program as an ALT from 2015-2017. He currently works as an English teacher at Hirosaki Gakuin Seiai Secondary School in Hirosaki, Aomori, Japan.
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1 Response to Three more weeks

  1. Michael B says:

    Hey stephen, it’s Michael, just wanted to let you know I’m reading through your blogs. This one just about made me cry, because I know the feeling of going to restaurants, watching shows, and most of all studying, to feel as though you are there, in japan.

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