Wednesday, February 06, 2008

 

A Coming Party

A number of years ago, Time Magazine put a bunch of Asians on the cover and declared that they were "Whiz Kids." I felt hopelessly outclassed. Where were my scientific and mathematical smarts? (They were nowhere, I assure you. The scientific genes that turned so many of my American family into doctors and scientists have skipped me.)



Here we are a number of years later, and one of those Whiz Kids is not just a whiz, but a Hero.

I like to tease Isao--friend, inspiration and cultural guide--that he looks an awful lot like Masi Oka.

Isao . . .



Masi Oka . . .




Isao's response when he saw this photo was to declare: "Who is this Chinese guy?"

Then again, we've had plenty of fun running around Tokyo pretending--when it is convenient--that he is Chinese and that I don't understand a word of Japanese. It is an especially helpful trick when your feet are tired and you need a quick cab ride that will probably only cost 250 yen and which would be denied to a Tokyo native. I suppose one reason we get on so well is that we both have the same irrepressible urge to make everyday life into a game . . . I do like to approach things at an angle.

Isao arrives tomorrow with a bag full of groceries from Kyoto. He's going to cook a feast. He was trained as a kaiseki chef, but has abandoned this strict way of life for "freedom" in the kitchen. Can't wait to see what he creates. The last time he brought me "groceries," he showed up with a hand-baked cake for my wedding, wrapped in a furoshiki. I promise to post photos.

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