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Ring of Fire / 21 September 2013

Wanting to check out a restaurant in 'My Humble House', Ginza, I take a metro exit that I'm not familiar with. When the lift doors open at street level I discover I am in a bank, which does feel a little odd. But is an efficient use of space.
'My Humble House' is a small glass tower of restaurants and bars. The place I wish to try is Chinese. It looks very elegant and cool, with lots of black marble, but there are steps up to the table level. On my right the 2 steps are close together. The staff offer to lift my chair, but I refuse and point to the steps on my left. Those two steps are very wide, so the chair would not need to be lifted, just angled up one step at a time. There are tables and customers on each side. The management indicate no with an international face expression of 'shoganai' -  'circumstances beyond our control' - that contains no regret (and this case doesn't seem to be very truthful).

I try elsewhere. This time an Indian restaurant, with an equally elegant decor that has minimal hints of elaborate Indian carvings and textiles interpreted in cool calm Japanese colours. The staff move tables and chairs to offer me the largest table in the place with masses of room for the wheelchair. I choose a fish curry from the lunch selection, but wonder curiously about the God Prawns on the evening menu board.
A plate of vegetables is placed on my marble-topped table: a neat pile of golden rice, 2 battered onion rings, one cone of battered, deep fried, curried, mixed chopped-up vegetables and a hot green curry sauce. The basket with the giant nan comes next and finally a bowl of mild curry sauce with chunks of tuna. 
A peek at the actual evening menu reveals a spelling mistake, for God Prawns read Goa Prawns. I enjoy the meal.

I spend some time just rolling; looking at people wearing sheepskin boots, knitted and felt hats and sometimes even woolly jumpers. The temperatures, in the top twenties, are comparatively low and I find myself adding a layer when out of direct sunlight.
The shops may be full of autumn reds and gold, but people seem to be wearing shades of grey, with highlights of black and white, real and fake furs, and lots of sheepskin. Of course there are some folk still in shorts,  summer dresses and sandals, who have not yet adopted autumn mode.
I also notice quite a few older people maintaining their Japaneseness with died black hair. 
Lots of shops are gearing up for Halloween, the next big party in the calendar. After that it will be Christmas season with masses of decorations and familiar tunes. I get the impression that Japanese people love to party.

In the early hours of the morning I am woken from sleep by more shaking and swaying, this building certainly does move. The quake, 5.3, hits Fukushima without warning. We are reassured that there is no additional threat. The nuclear plant at Fukushima sits in a high risk quake zone called the Ring of Fire.


Fire sharp pain burns my eye
and I realise too late, my
mistake. The wrong stuff.
Not simple eye ointment
but Crystal Veil Cool - cutting
edge hay fever prevention.
non invasive,
positively charged
water-soluble
polymer with Menthol.
Similar tube, but hell
and agony for hours.
I battle my own
ring of fire 
with water
and ice.