I took the JR line, transitted at Shinjuku Station and was immediately greeted by horrendous human traffic during morning rush hour. My mojo was depleting as I spent almost an hour walking up and down looking for Oedo subway line. The station master was totally eigo wakarimasen and I was on the verge of giving up on my Tsukiji breakfast.
Fortunately I didn't as my senses kicked in. I reached Tsukiji late morning and it was still pouring.
I walked into a small cosy place and ordered a large bowl of don with my limited nihongo and sign language. It was quite an experience sitting at the bar counter, watching obasan and ojisan moving around the kitchen. As expected, my bowl of maguro and sake don was lovely.
I continued walking around Tsukiji in the rain looking for more food. I passed by the long queue in front of a Ramen counter a few times and was tempted by the queue more than the food. It was Ramen by the way. I never liked Ramen, just like how I always shudder at Indian food.
In the end, I succumbed to my kiasu spirit and joined the queue.
There were two ojisans in the kitchen. One was cooking noodles and another one was slicing char siew. Beside the Ramen counter was a row of tables with no seats. They only serve one (1) type of Ramen which is good for me, as I don’t have to use my private limited nihongo to order.
I got myself a corner and slurped my bowl of Ramen with piping hot rich stock. I swear at that moment, I’ve forgotten that I wasn’t a Ramen eater.
Standing beside me were two Hongkies speaking in Cantonese:
'Li Gor Hai Gai Thong Lei Gar' (This is chicken soup base)
By the 7th day, I was deprived of Cantonese and felt like 'ching chong-ing' with them on the Ramen - "Hai Meh, Ngo Yi Wai Hai Jzu Guat Thong Lei Gah Leh" (Isit? I thought it is pork bone soup leh). Of course I didn't as the socio-phobia in me knocked sense into my head.
Half way slurping through the noodles, I took out my blackberry, took a picture of it and sent to Hairy – the Ramen fanatic, while he was peeling his usual orange and kiwi combo for lunch in the office.
I still kept this picture in my blackberry. Somehow I find it more appealing than my Gucci.
Oh here's another unrelated but wondrous creation that I discovered. I was drying my clothes at the laundry room one night and saw this in the vending machine.
And guess what, my first dinner when I returned to SG was Shoyu Ramen at Parco.
Sigh, I miss my Tsukiji breakfast.