いろり家

你試過食完一餐飯,跳住舞咁行返屋企未?

「牛肉蓋飯套餐」: 足柄牛サーロインステーキ丼

日本關東西南部神奈川縣足柄下郡箱根町、 「箱根登山鉄道鉄道線宮ノ下駅」下車後步行十分鐘,上山小路行到一條民宅後巷,才找著的一家只有八個座位的居酒屋いろり家

拜朋友所賜,得知這家小店; 我肯定不是第一個來「朝聖的友仔」。

店面一老一中年的女店東,不懂英語,餐牌也英文欠奉,除非預先做足research抄埋餸名,能點菜,只靠Google Translate及YouTube。

「孤獨的美食家」,一套我只看過半集的日本電視劇,帶我到來。較年輕的女店東展示YouTube內井之頭五郎的面孔,甫見我點頭,就知道我所為何物。

接著就送來照片上的牛肉蓋飯。

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女子‧女子‧口未‧口牙!!!

靠山食山,足柄下郡地道的足柄牛,唔會死得人,就像在我第二故鄉Calgary食Alberta beef一樣,無乜得輸。

一年大的牛肉,牛隻是本地天然飼養,食材本身尚盛,方能讓人吃出食物的鮮美。

食物還是其次,重點是她們的殷勤招待及日本人對陌生人的送迎。

當晚大雨正下,我並無雨傘,隔檯坐著一對大約比我大十年八載的夫婦/情侶。男的是從事保險的高木毅先生,他趁生日到箱根一趟。來自日本中部「岐阜县」的他,知道我從加拿大來,十分好奇,主動跟我交談,當時是英語。我們初相識,談的話題也只是簡短表面東西,在對話將結前,他低著頭,想了一想,再問我:「你住在那裡?」我,身為一個外地人,是有一點煞有介事的,內心都會問「究竟咩料呢?」。

最終我也道出地址,他大約知道我住強羅,就問:「taxi together?」

我回應:「Why not」

他又說:「Share?」

我回:「Sure」。

然後,我將我一點的日本清酒,斟到他的小杯子上,二人大叫乾杯,拍拍肩膊,他叫女店東幫手召的士,我們三人(他、他伴侶和我)準備回家。

女店東在我離開時,不忘向我介紹孤獨的美食家的簽名照。我實在只聽聞而不知那套電視劇,禮貌地點頭表示讚許。在離開之際,我用Google Translate向年老的店東說:「You have one of the best ever steak. I love it. Thank you very much。」她回以滿足的微笑,繼而我要求自拍,也獲樂意應許。(呢招係萬試萬靈)

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離開了,外面仍下著雨,的士在路邊,但要步行三分鐘。女店東眼見我無攜傘,即使我禮貌地婉拒,亦就將一把傘交給我,並跟我同行到的士,在上車前,她仍然希望我帶著雨傘離開,恐怕我會因淋雨而生病。我再三拒絕下,她才好不願意的看著我無傘離開。

在的士上,高木毅先生跟我繼續交談,我倆交換卡片,他便知我是一位海外記者(我不用工作身分拿著數的)。

下車了,我希望支付我應付的三分一車資,但他搖手又搖頭,低頭閉眼說:「No, no, no, no, no。」然後,再說:「No, no, no, no, no, no!」這11個的no,我為之詫異,但仍樂意接受他人之恩惠。

我們握手道別,車子遠去。我行路回到酒店。小小的上山路,背著幾十磅相機的我,在黑漆漆、只有微微街燈的街道上,忽然自自然然的哼著歌,跳著舞,輕輕的步履返回酒店。

是一頓美食,一些友誼,一種滿足,一點感受。

#孤独のグルメ #立心筆良 #孤獨的美食家 #足柄牛 #牛丼

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Something small, something big

In a gas station, a guy with a truck tried to fill up the tank, but his only debit card didn’t work.

He asked a staff of the gas station’s convenience store to lend him a landline phone to call his bank. The bank’s customer service representative instructed him to go to a branch to withdraw cash from teller desk.

He asked the staff, “where is the closest XXX bank?”

The staff replied, “58 avenue. You can drive south all the way.”

It is 20 blocks away, and it was at 5:45pm on a snowy Friday evening.

The guy said, “there’s no way I drive therr. My car is totally out of gas.”

The staff then said, “I give you $5 (in advance to fill the tank).”

The guy, who was still on the phone with customer service, said, “Oh, what? You give me $5 dollar. You are so kind.”

This is how Calgarians helping each other.

#gooddeeds #calgary #truestory #loveeverywhere #community #help

 

Introspection when cell phones gone with the wind.

Smartphone-less-ness for perhaps just half a day was such an experience even though I was able to access Internet to some extent.

A **unfortunate negligence** in a regular Friday morning results in losing my two cell phones – personal and work one – in a large area of wet brushwood, chest-high tussock, thick growth of grass with tons of mosquitoes.

Impossible to have them back. Frustration doesn’t stop there, of course.

You don’t really need a PhD degree to understand how lifeline is as if cut for a cell-phone-less in his 30s: the discomfort, if not anxiety, level began to escalate.

To clarify, I’m a relatively low-tech tablet-less person.

Still, after a while, I was sort of panicking over:

  1. no daily usual cell phone-base activity;
  2. having got no time (when not wearing a watch);
  3. emails and landline phone calls as basic communication media at work never enough;
  4. feeling disconnected to everything.

On top of the above, I drove no car in most of the day in Calgary, a city where public transit isn’t convenient enough when travelling in and out non-downtown and surrounding areas.

During that day or less, never did I seem to miss an important phone call, an unmissable email or even a causal notification from Facebook that opened in web browser via my desktop. I’ve realized the now disappeared little portable device is more than a communication technology but works like a water and bread to someone’s life.

Advantageous unsecured living style.

But I did not die without that pocket-sized gadget.

This experience is quite different from a getaway or an out-town trip when phone signal or wifi is simply dead.

The very first thing in mind when my cell phones were gone was to rescue them as soon as possible. The second thing I did was to inform some close friends in private messages and ironically to post a status in Facebook. And the third thing, quite predictably, is to find a way out to back to “normal”. All three are aimed at keeping re-connected.

What is our normalcy?

Without a cellphone around, we may have to give up instant Google search for an address, a price check of certain things, immediate response to/from someone, on-the-spot Instagram photo(s) before meal, or efficiency that is helped from new tech.

By the same token, we may gain some. Learn to be patient for all things, enjoy the real world from a more in-depth perspective, communicate with others in more direct way, arrange ahead to organize a bit our daily schedule, and slow down with deep breathe.

Fair enough.

Summarize in this way: while we sometimes forget we are free-will human being, we are in charge of our own lifestyle(s).

Actually, not always the case.

Discernment is the hardest part.

**Long story short: I dropped my car off for a service; a shuttle driver gave me ride to office 2 hours before work; I decided to walk for breakfast but took a short cut instead; after I walked across a soccer field size of grassland, my phones were gone; I searched twice but could not find them.

Beers…in 3 central european cities

During my Central Europe trip, no single day is alcohol free. (To clarify, I am never an alcoholic.)

The currency in Czech Republic is indeed beer.

bbbeeerrr
Finishing beer was one of the task during the two weeks in central Europe.

Beer lovers would love and hate this country. Having a chance to try as many beers as possible, you would never manage to remember all tastes.

I tired perhaps 20 different (new-to-me) beers in Prague, capital city of Czech Republic, alone. There were couple beers tasting in Vienna, Austria and Budapest, Hungary. No single ones, in “soft count”, is repeated.

Probably missing some local goodies, having more than 2 glasses (500ml) of beer per day in average, excluding wine and other liquor, is a personal record.

The very big issue now: I unlikely can re-taste the beers that I like unless travelling Europe again.

Here is a short list (bare with the error; BOLD=what I like):

  1. Břevnovský Benedict Světlý Ležák @ Pivovarský klub, Prague
  2. Stout (Pivovar Bobr,Zadní Třebaň) @ Pivovarský klub, Prague

    IMG_4441
    Pivovar Bobr (Stout) is one of the best draught dark beers I have drank in Prague.
  3. Klaster @Beer Museum, Prague
  4. Svijany Máz @Beer Museum, Prague
  5. Merlin @Beer Museum, Prague
  6. Kocour Visen (Chery) @Beer Museum, Prague
  7. Masopustni Special @Beer Museum, Prague
  8. Zatec Baronka @Beer Museum, Prague
  9. Two Tales (Bohemian Ales) @Beer Museum, Prague
  10. Matuska @Beer Museum,Prague
  11. Real Deal Ale @Beer Museum, Prague
  12. D’este @Beer Museum, Prague
  13. Arany Ászok @ Flea Market, Petofi Csarnok, Budapest
  14. Velkopopovícký Kozel dark 1874 canned (Czech Republican)
  15. Karlskrone Radler (German)
  16. Karlskrone Alkoholfree (German)
  17. Sixtusbräu Schankbier (Austrian)
  18. Kühles Blondes Bier (Austrian)
  19. Berg König Märzen (Austrian)
  20. Hofbräu München Grapefruit (German)
  21. Szüretlen vörös (unfiltered red) @ Kaltenberg Sörház és Étterem – Budapest
  22. Borsodi Sör @Kazimir Bisztro (Hungarian beer)
  23. Borsodi Barna @Szimpla Kert (Hungarian brewery, German style dark)
  24. Velkopopovícký Kozel dark draught (Czech Republican)
  25. Meantime London Pale Ale @Huxleys Restaurant, Heathrow (England)
  26. Pilsner Urquell (draught) @Mama Lucy
  27. Dreher Classic @R14 Bisztro
  28. Krügel @Reinthaler’s Beisl
  29. The Salm Bräu Weizen (mixed beer) @Salm Bräu

    IMG_8675
    The Salm Bräu Weizen, a 60% wheat malt and 40% barley mixed beer, an old bavarian recipe, is perhaps the best one during my whole tip.
  30. Rauchbier (smoky dark beer) @7 Sternbräu, Vienna
  31. HANF @7 Sternbräu, Vienna
  32. Flekovský Tmavý Ležák 13° @U Fleku, Prague
  33. Hofbräu München Original (draught) @ Great Market Hall, Budapest
  34. Krusovice tmavé @U Sedmi Svabu
  35. ottaKringer helles (draught) @ hostel, Vienna
  36. Fóti Zwickl @hostel, Budapest

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This is bound to be an exciting trip. Solo traveller in trio central/eastern European countries that with three languages and currencies for two weeks. Barely accessible Internet means a long prayer walk. Architectures and churches but perhaps way too many beers. Exploring new horizon in vintage places. Words cannot describe the excitement and the hidden anxiety. Oh well, I have been trying.

I didn’t know I took this #Tokyo #nightphotography picture until now, after tidying up my photo album in cell phone.

Yes, it’s a photo by one of my smart phones #Nexus5 .

The quality is amazingly good on screen with just a bit noise.

Too bad, the phone’s camera function is defeated; I can only selfie with that phone.

Overall, left over

#tokyocameraclub #TedTravelTaskforce #skytree #skyline #nightimage #cityscape #urban #urbancity #lovetravel #lonelyplanet #tripadvisor #reportagespotlight #有種旅行叫日本 #Japan

藝術就係咁。

相中人,叫澤田知子(Tomoko Sawada),一位當代藝術攝影師。

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Tomoko

成名作,係用自己做實驗室老鼠,用四年時間紀實,為自己拍低一張又一張嘅影樓式單人肖像照,每張同一背景,同一燈光,同一設定,不同的,是她本人的表情,肥瘦,衣飾,服裝,妝效。

佢只係一個肥妹仔,樣子不討好,卻勇於「用自己的方式」,展示自己,為表現出身分這大命題。

每個人總有身分,不必他人套入,不必道歉,不必怯於情勢,本是多麼珍貴。在華人社會,民族包袱太重,身分認同愈來愈難。

我不抗拒身為中國人,但當我稱自己為香港人時,煩請切勿強加成「中國香港人」;又我選擇成為加拿大人,若無必要,也不必每每用「加國華人」的稱呼。

這叫自由,有些人總不懂。

沒有一個人更清楚自己是誰。

#TedTravelTaskforce
#立心筆良