From Hiromi Kawakami’s Strange Weather in Tokyo, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell,
He was my Japanese teacher at secondary school. He wasn’t my form teacher, and Japanese didn’t interest me much, so I didn’t really remember him. Since I finished school, I hadn’t seen him for quite a while.
Several years ago, we sat beside each other at a crowded bar near the train station, and after that, our paths would cross every now and then. that night, he was sitting at the counter, his back so straight it was almost concave.
Taking my seat at the counter, I ordered “Tuna with fermented soybeans, fried lotus root, and salted shallots,” while the old man next to me requested “Salted shallots, lotus root fries, and tuna with fermented soybeans” almost simultaneously. when I glanced over, I saw he was staring straight back at me.
This delightful book can be found through the publisher’s website.