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    Well, we didn’t end up doing Japanese last night. There was a hole-in-the-wall restaurant-bar in the neighborhood, whose decorative scheme involved a chair rail with back-lit Superballs, that we decided to cast our lot with. Vaguely Italian, with good salad and rather nice chicken. (The wine, unfortunately, was apparently a throwback to the mid-90s here, when the red in all but a handful of very expensive places was vinegary and served ice-cold. Having been chastened by years of bad experience, I opted for white.) Not exactly traditional, but companionable and moving for me, since the friends I went out with were the couple who hosted the Thanksgiving dinner we had during my first year in Japan, when we were in language school.

    The American element was supplied after dinner, when we decided to go to Starbucks. In 2005, it doesn’t get much more all-American than a triple-shot latte and cranberry bliss bar, huh? Of course, it’s not a holiday weekend here, so I’m back at the office today. (Later, I mean.) Hope everyone else had a great holiday.

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