Wednesday, August 27, 2008

follow the yellow brick road

Neither Glendora nor West Los Angeles is identified with vast
farmlands and frequent tornadoes. Still, during the past week—in the
smallest of ways—I've realized the worn-out quotation applies: "We're
not in Kansas anymore."

I braved my first solo izakaya experience… that is to say, I went to a
place with Japanese food and beer by myself late on a weeknight. And I
partook of the local fare. And I did it all in Japanese (so proud).
And I couldn't help but wonder why I was positioned at the bar in the
exact seat where the entire kitchen staff could stare. I'd been
wondering if I'm stared at as much as I think I am (I do live in a
small-ish town after all), or if maybe I think that normal glances
must be purposeful, because I'm so clearly foreign.

Either way, the kitchen staff very obviously crooked their necks to
catch a glimpse of how exactly I was ordering off the non-English menu
and whether I used a flurry of gestures. I ordered an omelette dish
because I was starving and knew they would top it with pizza sauce,
which sounded delicious. They served the modestly-sized omelette on a
designated family-style plate and I felt a little silly because I was
just one girl who was fairly certain she needed no family help to
finish the food.

I returned home to find that, for some godforsaken reason, the little
box near the stove that (I believe) controls my gas power was shouting
at me in Japanese every five minutes. I had no idea what she was
saying, but it sounded important. So, like a true escapist, I drew a
bath and shut the door to the kitchen. For those of you who don't
know, baths are my cure-all.

As I waited through the high-pitched Japanese instructions, the bath
was just about the only thing that resembled my Kansas. I read my book
like I always did, calculating the importance of its words in my life.
And after I felt a satisfactory amount of the day's toxins had escaped
my body, I opted to go to bed—shouting kitchen and all. Employing toes
still slippery with soap, I yanked the plug from the drain and brought
it closer to my face, curious to read the brand name on the stopper.

1 comment:

Ally Stoltz said...

this is first class gas right here! $4.78 easy. <3sit.