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Space Cadet Craves Japanese Food
Dr. Wood XI
Normally I’d playfully slam the Tyler from the previous Dr. Wood, but I guess right now I don’t have much to say in that regard. I will say, though, that right this very moment, at 9:48pm on a Sunday night, I am starting to really get fed up with the quarantine. Not that I want to forgo it for the alternative – which is higher exposure to the virus – but I just want things to go back to normal. Plain and simple – I want it to go back to normal. If King Tyler demands it, it should become a reality, right? I’m of course mocking myself with that statement, but it’ll at least provide the next Tyler with some fodder to slam this Tyler with.
I was just watching Gal & Dinosaur – a very bizarre but oddly engaging anime/live action show – and for some reason I just really wanted to go back to Maido, my favorite Japanese joint in the States. I think someone in the comments mentioned that one of the guys looked like a guy from Kamen Rider, and I first started watching Kamen Rider thanks to one of my many visits to Maido. Now I kinda wanna watch Kamen Rider again, but I won’t be able to without feeling the void in my heart that only Maido can fulfill. Y’know what – I’m gonna spend some time in this Dr. Wood talking all about Maido. I love Maido because it is just everything I could ever ask for in a dining place. The people are warm and welcoming and friendly. The food is incredible and authentic. The takoyaki, the okonomiyaki, the bowls, the matcha tiramisu, etc. There’s no sushi, but in a way it’s like an odd testament to their authenticity… not that sushi is inauthentic. I hope you know what I mean, arbitrary reader. Anyway, what else… oh, there’s always Japanese TV playing. I’ve watched the news, children’s shows, imperial dramas, sumo wrestling, Godzilla, and of course, Kamen Rider on that big TV screen. I love the smells of Maido – from the food being cooked to the market’s unique market-y scent (wait, would the word “market-y” imply that it’s not unique since I’d be referring to how a market normally smells?) I love the plushies they keep on display near the bathroom, and I darn sure won’t forget the Pikmin ones they keep there. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Pikmin plushy in my life. I love the barley tea, and I love drinking so much of it that I constantly have to pee (actually I really don’t often need to pee when I’m at Maido… which is awesome because I love savoring my time there).
Let’s keep it goin’. I love the market selection. I love looking at the new stickers they have and picking the ones that I wanna use for my outgoing postcards. Reminds me – I miss doing traveling notebooks. I should do one soon again. I love thinking about what snacks to pick. I almost always buy snacks while I’m there, and finding new snacks to try is just the best. I love using the cute, colorful boxes to make handmade postcards out of. I love the sounds of the J-pop music playing as I peruse the aisles, and I love Shazam-ing them and discovering new artists. I love paying for my goods and then flaunting my Maido Rewards Card as a show of loyalty. I love seeing the billboard with upcoming events and advertisements, even though most of the time I can’t or wouldn’t partake in them. I love the giant Totoro outside, who silently greets me as I walk into the restaurant. When I visit Maido with Eric, I’m glad he shares some of the same appreciation for the experience, particularly with the food. And I really miss going there with him – it’s an experience that I absolutely, absolutely cherish.
When I visit Ardmore by myself, there are other things that I adore. I love the familiar drive heading up there. No wait, down there I mean. It’s south of me. I love blasting 2009 Sweet Vacation music as I drive down 22, and the turnpike, and whatever that pothole-laden road is leading up to the shopping center. I love getting my Maido canvas bag ready for my excursions. I love walking out of Maido to walk along the streets of downtown Ardmore. Could I call it “downtown Ardmore”? I’m gonna anyway. I love going to the boba tea joints nearby. I’d been going to one for a few trips, then went to another one after the former closed due to the outbreak. Both of them are awesome and super, super laidback. Which is how I feel at Maido too. I could stay there watching TV and drinking barley tea until closing time, and they wouldn’t say a word of disapproval. I really miss going up there. It’s always such an adventure. And even though every trip brought the same feeling of happiness in my heart, I can’t help but feel now that I took it for granted. Perhaps that’s just a natural reaction to a transient occurrence. I mean, no matter how much I savor a trip, or anything for that matter, it won’t truly stop time. Although I do have a personal aphorism about freezing time… but that’s beside the point. Actually the original point was just to say a bunch of good things about Maido and why I love it there. It’s just an entire experience that I really love. As one who is extremely fond of Japan, and of great food, and of unimposing company, and of wonders, and of freedom, I just can’t help but love it all. And I really miss it. And I miss my family. And so many other things.
I guess I kinda lie a bit to people when I say that my life is mostly the same as it was pre-outbreak. I’ve been able to adapt pretty well because I do indeed have many hobbies that take place within my own home. I can watch anime, play video games, write stories, make music, juggle, correspond with friends, and daydream uninhibitedly. I can also work from home full-time. But I realize that my life is also characterized with some very special moments. Lots more than I realized I partook in. I guess now that I think about it, when I tell people that my life is 80% the same, it might actually not be a lie. But that remaining 20% is so dear to me. Moments with family mean the world to me. Moments of creating my own adventure routines in places like Ardmore and Somerville, New Jersey (which I’ll have to talk about in another post because that’ll just be a lexical explosion in itself) mean the world to me. While I know I have to make the best of this time and take advantage of it, I can’t help but long for that which I used to have. After all, there was fair reason to consider it as granted. This is an unprecedented time after all.
I have this one song from the Clannad VN stuck in my head right now, and it makes what I’m conveying seem to be more profound than it actually is. Gosh it’s such a good track. Anyway, I think I’m gonna go watch one more episode of To Love Ru before I go to bed. I need my daily fix of fan service to offset my brain usage.