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Japan Diary


By January 29, 2021No Comments

I had plans to spend a nice snowy afternoon of writing at one of my fav coffee shops the other day. Expectations aside, you make what you can out of it. And what I chose to do instead of getting annoyed to the point of leaving, I turned it into a blog post.

This quiet, slightly disorganized (by Japanese standards) coffee shop with a hint of funkiness appeals to a host of patrons including families, mothers (for afternoon lunch), solo writers like myself and others. What I have never seen before are businessmen. The nearby Starbucks is where like rats they infest, and one reason why I steer clear.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against businessmen, I used to be one. What I don’t appreciate is their commitment to the role. That is many exude a level of self-importance that invades the air like someone just took a dump and left the door wide open.

Sitting at the table and before I begin to write I look around and see the usual cast of characters–a table of four mothers discussing some sort of part-time business plan and a couple that looked like they were on a lunch date. The feeling was peaceful and conducive to writing and another reason I come here.

Then all of a sudden a pair of businessmen showed up in their traditional black garb and black matching patent leather shoes. And of course with all the tables to choose from they chose the one right next to me. In unison they unpack their briefcases and open up their laptops. So well choreographed I thought they would break out in song. As they began to “work,” I suddenly got that whiff of self-importance. Then it began to reek of cheap, nose hair curling cologne mixed with the previous nights alcohol emanating from their pores. I gagged.

Even with my noise canceling earphones I couldn’t drown out the short one’s incessant speaking on the phone and the tall one’s smacking of his laptop computer keyboard. Smack, I am, smack, so, smack, important. Smack, can’t you tell, smack, by the way, smack, I type?

They are loud and obnoxious and I am 100% sure everyone else felt the same way. I thought about being the hero by telling them in English, “You took a wrong turn. This is not the place for you. Starbucks is that way.” Instead, I opted to send out a vibe of annoyance hoping the universe would pass the message on and they’d leave. They didn’t.

Even as the tall one walked to and from the bathroom he caused a ruckus. Every movement was as if life depended on it. I wonder if they realize that they are businessmen and not saving the world. In fact, chances are the company they work for may be ruining it.

I know you are suppose to love thy neighbor, but it’s hard sometimes. My fear, if nothing is done that word will get out and every office worker from miles around will descend upon this quaint coffee shop turning into a rat infested-like Starbucks.

Meanwhile, the tall one is speaking on the phone, but I am now less annoyed after having written this rough draft. They don’t know they are playing a role and going about their business like it’s the most important thing in the world.

Even though it ain’t.

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