It was the oddest sight.
A tall, old, white dude decked out in full turn of the century stereotypical Oriental garb. A kimono, a little cap, circle wire glasses and a cane. He looked like an exaggerated TinTin character. All he was missing was the long pony tail braid. He was standing on the side of a little Amsterdam street, talking to a wiry Asian man that looked like he was trying to end the conversation.
Kate and I just happened to be biking by, headed to our respective six pm workout classes. Her to go exercise with miscellaneous weights, and me to pretend I know how to fight in Kickboxing. I don't, but I like getting punched and yelled at.
After passing the odd scene while crossing a canal bridge I remarked on the unusual time traveler from the Far East. Kate hadn't noticed, but she had seen that the space under construction looked like a new restaurant. How had she not seen the guy? It was like when Will Smith shoots the little girl with physics books in Men in Black. Like really? That's what you noticed, the restaurant? Freak.
A few weeks later we're biking by, Kate to exercise, me to be beaten up... and notice the restaurant has a sign- "Men Impossible". Wow how cool, a new... Uh... Exclusive male strip club? Tom Cruise movie memorabilia spinoff? Relationship advice provider?
Intrigued we set a mental date to go. Even if the food is bad, there is a chance I might get to see the Hong Kong diaspora dude.
Friday arrives. We hit the gym, on the way there see the place is open. We say "hey let's go after we work out". After getting my ass kicked and Kate kicking ass, we quickly bike home and shower. Ugh, that shower. Smelled awful. (Remind me to tell you about it sometime.) We dress, falling out our pants we're so giddy with excitement. We're starved too, because we hadn't eaten since lunch. It's about 8 now.
We bike over to the place. It's like, 5 mintues away by bike. Tucked into the middle of a beautiful Amsterdam ally. We pull up. Park our bikes. It's raining gently. We lock them on the side of the street in the middle of a walkway and half jog to the place. As we open the door steam pours out and the building sighs a wonderful smell. There's one table in the back, packed with people. Japanese to be specific. Which in a ramen restaurant is always a good sign.
A man approaches. The same man from the other day in the doorway in fact.
....writing for this story underway....