I had the funniest thing happen to me today. I was on a sort of layover from my Nikko train to Fuji. I was in Tokyo, and had the afternoon to myself before my 5:10 bus. So I decided to walk from the bus station in Shinjuku to Streamer’s coffee in Harajuku. I took my computer and was hoping to do some trip planning. I love coffee culture. I went to this coffee shop and fell in love. My loyalty will always be to Day’s Espresso in Louisville, Kentucky, but who says I can’t have a favorite in Tokyo?
This one in particular is made of an old freight car turn vertically. It acts as kind of an exoskeleton for the building. It is made of all cold industrial materials like concrete, metal, glass, and matches that third wave coffee movement perfectly. It was probably less than 100 square fee in area, but it has three levels. On my first trip to Harajuku, I had a great chat with the barista, HaRu. She told me about her time in Idaho, and I gave her a Day’s Espresso sticker I had been saving. But I’m digressing from my story, as I so easily do.
So I got my Americano and I went upstairs to the little lounge on the second floor. I was checking my email and listening to music. I had a song in mind so I went to it on my iPod. It was on shuffle, whatever… I begin looking at my Tokyo pictures and listening to the song I wanted. It was A/B Machines by Sleigh Bells, and it matched the face pace of Tokyo and also the cold modern appeal of this coffee shop in this neighborhood.
Then the song ended and shuffled, and I paid no attention. I was wrapped up in my photos. Until the Dixie Chicks came on. “There’s your trouble.” HA! I immediately let out one solitary laugh. I had to laugh at the absurdity of the fucking Dixie Chicks. I mean, I’m not ashamed to say that I listen to these little country birds… well that one isn’t so little anymore. It was just funny how this single song instantly snapped me out of a Tokyo trance and into a vivid memory of backwoods, dirt roads, windows down, and Roxanne and I singing this twangy country shit. I started to miss my childhood friend.
I was never really one for where I grew up. I kind of always wanted to be in a city. The country isn’t my idea of a home. But do I treasure my childhood growing up there? Hell yes! It is still a good feeling to go back to the country and know every backroad from my house to the other side of the county. I love the people I grew up with. It is crazy to think how much has changed since high school, but probably for the better. Honestly, I don’t really care because I still have my best friend, Roxanne.
She told me once when I left for college, “Love where you go, but never forget where you came from.” I never have forgot her telling me that, or where I came from. This is true whether I’m playing tourist in Japan or wannabe hipster in Louisville, Kentucky. I love coffee shops. I love big cities. I love going to new places. But I also love the damn Dixie Chicks, even if they’re awful! So fucking what! I love country road driving and I especially love my teenage memories with Roxanne. In this crowded city I want wide open spaces because I”m ready ready ready to run. Okay, I’ll stop with the puns before Early has to die. haha.