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For three of the past four nights I’ve napped on the floor under a desk in the editing suite. With deadlines tomorrow morning at 7 and later in the day, tonight promises to be another long one.
Since I never seem to leave, I’m slowly transforming the office space, which is a converted apartment, into a temporary home. I have my sleeping bag, camping mat and pajamas for after hours kips. I’ve scoped out the nearest sento so we can bathe from time to time. Rob & I ordered clothes from Uniqlo to be delivered later this week so we will have something clean to wear.
And today I bought a nabe to cook in. This crosses the line into “probably not ok with my boss” (as would clearing out the boxes in the bathroom to have a shower) but honestly, I cannot stomach another restaurant or delivery meal. Having a covered ceramic dish means I can bake casseroles in our oven or simmer soups and stews on the range. Tonight we’re having kimchi nabe. Healthy food!
The shop where I bought the casserole dish is just around the corner from here on the forgotten stretch of Roppongi Dori where the highway blocks out the light. It’s an old place chockablock with dusty kitchenware, vinyl slippers, and coils of rope, garnished with a scattered assortment of tools, bath supplies and other household necessities.
I was digging through the pots looking for one the right size when I heard a creaky voice calling from the corner, “Customer! Customer!” It wasn’t directed at me, but about me. An extremely old woman bundled up in a purple wool shawl and quilted pants was sitting with her feet at an electric hearth calling her son to come attend me. He scampered over and helped me find the nabe and was impressed that I could cook Japanese food from scratch. I was shown off to Grandmother as a foreigner who could cook. She nodded at me and went back to her heater.
And I went back “home” looking forward to good food cooked from scratch.