Solbit Asks, “Vending Machine Food? Really, People?”

Dear Nicalai,

You asked us, “What’s going on in Japan?”

Here’s what’s going on for us in Tokyo, Japan:  the rain came this morning; then the heat; now it’s humid; we need air conditioning! Solbit has not complained though.  We’re guessing that dinosaurs — even Plastic Jurassics — like heat and humidity.

Despite the warm weather, we do get hungry.  So, Japanese food is what’s going on for us in Japan.  Solbit saw us eating last night. When she saw us eating, she said, “Hey, what are you doing? You mean you put stuff in your mouth, and it disappears? Oh, that’s magic!”  Being a Plastic Jurassic, Solbit doesn’t eat, so she didn’t know about eating.

We explained that she can’t enjoy eating as we do, and she was disappointed.  Then, to cheer her up, we suggested that she might enjoy looking at Japanese food and watching us eat.  She said, “Good, let’s get started! Can we go look at food now?”

Nona said, “Yes, and we know just the place to look at food, too.”  Solbit asked, “Ok, where?”  Nona answered, “A few blocks from here is a little noodle shop.”  “Let’s go!” exclaimed Solbit.

We put Solbit in Papa’s pocket and made tracks for a little shop on Shinjuku Dori street. When we arrived at the shop, Nona held Solbit up to the shop window and said, “Now, Solbit, look at all the beautiful Japanese food.”

Solbit looked at all the dishes on display in the window. “Are you going to eat now?” she asked.  We said yes.  We went into the little shop. It was very clean, and had built-in tables and chairs because its space is so small.  We walked up to the vending machine by the front door, put our money in, and got tickets for each of us.  Solbit wanted to know what we were doing. We showed her the vending machine.

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“See the pictures on the machine, Solbit?” Nona asked.  “Yes, I see them.”  Nona explained that we pick the picture of the Japanese dish that we want, and the machine gives us a ticket for that food item.  Then we take the ticket to the cook, who waits behind the counter.  The cook prepares each dish on the spot.  He gives it to us on a tray.  Then we take it to a table to eat.  It is very hot, so we have to walk carefully to the table.

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Solbit smelled our food.  “It smells so good! What did you get?”  We explained that we got two kinds of noodles:  Udon noodles with tempura shrimp, and Soba noodles with fried tofu.  Solbit replied, “These Japanese dishes do look pretty.” “Yes, Solbit,” said Papa.  “The Japanese food is pretty, and the Japanese people are friendly.”

That’s what we’re doing here in Tokyo.  Next time we’ll tell you about another Japanese food, but it’s not noodles.

Love,

Nona & Papa

September 2013

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