I was in Kamakura today, happily waiting for the arrival of my sesame soba and a mountain of crispy burdock root…
…when they delivered my beer along with the usual unwanted (yet always-delivered) “beer snack.” Just my luck, it was my most un-favorite appetizer. Squid guts.
All right. Ugh. Don’t be That Foreigner. Get it over with.
Lesson One: Never chew.
Lesson Two: Always travel with your own private state-of-the-art toothpick.
Because much to my horror, in the process of dispatching the wiggly things as quickly as possible, an unholy fishy filament got stuck between my back teeth. I grabbed one of the wooden toothpicks from the table dispenser to fight back, but that turned out to be about as effective as trying to pluck my eyebrows with a set of pliers. I finally managed to get rid of the nagging little bastard hours later, when I got back to Tokyo and rustled up the proper tool:
Which is how I’m able to bring you a little-known fact that I hope you never have to learn for yourself: even the tiniest shred of squid guts stuck in your teeth gives you cephalopod breath ALL DAY LONG.
When not taking one for the team, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo
Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!