Not hungry

The deep satisfaction of vegan cuisine on the magic mountain of Koya-san seems to have stymied Mr. Henry’s urge to write. He feels spiritually cleansed. He feels gastro-intestinally cleansed. Ideas and aperçus about food in its many transmogrifications flit continuously through the Henry imagination, but fail to perch on solid outcrop. What is happening?

Mr. Henry is simply not very hungry.

The seasonal combination of warm weather, flowering trees, and a noticeable layer of winter fat round the waist together with a strange energy bounce from reverse jet lag left him without an appetite for anything more than good coffee, bananas, yogurt, pecan raisin bread and dark chocolate in the morning, and for salads, cheese and wine at night – all foods difficult to find in Japan, apart from good coffee, that is, which was uniformly excellent except at the one expensive hotel the Henry party visited, the Swissôtel in Osaka.

Mr. Henry is usually disappointed by restaurant coffee, particularly in fine dining establishments where management bumps up your bill an extra seven bucks for an acrid, watery, lukewarm espresso instead of charging an honest buck fifty for a hot cup of paper filter drip.

A recent New York Times article decried the nauseating coffee you get in Paris. Of all beautiful places where you most want to sit outside, drink a coffee, and watch impeccably dressed women swish-clicking past, Paris was once the first choice. But since the French all suffer from rotten-coffee stomach cramp, it’s no wonder they are so depressed.

People watching in Japan holds special merits. Thigh-high boots are de rigueur. Although this is a fashion mistake, and although women in Japan all seem to have misshapen knees from kneeling on tatami mats, and although high heels induce an awkward gait (apologies to The Manolo), when sitting gazing from behind your cup of rich, delicious coffee you need not wait very long for the happy chance to examine yet another youthful thigh.

Fashion trends no longer originate in Paris. Look to Tokyo for the next new thing in fashion as well as in food. Pickles and raw egg on rice for breakfast, anyone? Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

8 Responses to “Not hungry”

  1. eowyn_2 April 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    Begging Mr. Henry’s pardon, but those look like knee-high boots, not thigh-high. Unless perhaps those boots aren’t illustrative of the boots to which you were referring?

  2. Mr. Henry April 20, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    Good eye, eowyn.

    In fact, Mr. Henry was too polite to follow girls in thigh-highs down the street and snap their picture. But without exaggeration, thigh boots and exposed thighs were everywhere. It was hard to believe that in a country once renowned for modesty the girls walk around in hooker style hot pants, thigh-highs, and even in garter belts.

  3. Jennie April 21, 2010 at 9:33 pm #

    Any country that cannot brew an aromatic, rich, strong, and flavorful cup of joe should not be allowed in the UN or NATO. And that raw egg on rice with pickles makes it sound like you are in a family way my dear Mr. Henry. If you cannot summon an appetite… then woo me with your wonderous prose on past repasts.

  4. Bronwyn April 22, 2010 at 12:35 am #

    Mr Henry needs to visit New Zealand, where he will be able to have strong rich beautiful flavourful espresso everywhere he goes. The people in New Zealand don’t know how to make weak acrid espresso, although they used to be quite good at weak acrid drip filter stuff once upon a time.

  5. Mr. Henry April 22, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    Thank you, Jennie, but no, Mr. Henry is not in the family way…more like in the way of his family.

    And Bronwyn, yes, there is such a rare and delicious object as a perfect cup of espresso, but boy do most establishments fail to find it. Given that New Zealand is an earthly paradise cultivated by the nicest people on the planet, it’s not surprising that they may have found a secret to good coffee.

  6. Imelda Blahnik April 22, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    >>Given that New Zealand is an earthly paradise cultivated by the nicest people on the planet, it’s not surprising that they may have found a secret to good coffee.

    Perhaps this is due to the influence of hobbits and elves?

  7. Ann April 22, 2010 at 11:21 am #

    If Mr. Henry is not hungry, perhaps it’s time for another “Mr. Henry Drinks Champagne?” A memorable title, and one of my favorite postings! If ever I write an autobiography, that’s the title I’d choose. Just, you know, without the “Mr. Henry.”

  8. Mr. Henry April 22, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    How sweet of you to recall something written so long ago, Ann. Mr. Henry had forgotten the piece completely, and indeed, on re-reading it found a verve and panache somewhat lacking in recent days. Ah, yesterday, when ambition honed the wit most keenly.

    Instead of writing, he has been practicing Chopin piano prelude #15 (“Raindrop”) over and over until Mrs. Henry runs from the apartment tearing her hair and cursing. Perhaps it’s time once again to rent an office?