With the relentless heat suffocating me from all sides, I have walked to and
from Waseda for the past three months. Since my middle school and high school
weren’t equipped with air-conditioning, it’s nice to actually be able to find solace in
the oasis I call Building 11 (unless you’re into saunas, in which case you would
probably prefer to be outside). Perhaps my resolution for the summer should be to fry
an egg on the sidewalk- a dream all children dream of in their summers of frivolity
and chasing after ice-cream trucks but never quite accomplish… or even better, I
should probably learn how to stop procrastinating.
But back to the topic of summer. I’ve discovered a rather interesting way to
escape from the morbid heat- for a few minutes, at least.
One excruciatingly hot day, I went to eat ramen for lunch with a friend.
Ramen on a hot day, you ask? I admit, the heat waves may have slightly dulled our
thinking processes. Nevertheless, we walked in, took our seats, and were instantly
filled with regret. The room was boiling hot, and the steam from the kitchen seemed
to wrap around us like a mischievously coiling snake. We were both dripping with
sweat, from head to toe.
It didn’t even feel like sweat. I felt as if I had jumped into a warm pool of
water and jumped back out, only to find that the water would simply stick to my skin
like saran wrap and not dry. Wonderful.
After devouring a bowl of ramen and finishing several cups of water, we
walked back out into the baking sun- except there was no heat. The wind, irritatingly
humid and dense only twenty minutes earlier, felt like the cool touch of the wind that
hints the emergence of spring. While everybody around us was grumbling about the
heat, we were excitedly talking about how cool it was outside. Being outside actually
made us feel refreshed. That must have been a curiously strange sight to see.
Maybe you love ramen. Maybe you, like me, are looking for a way to run
away from the deathly Japanese summers but to no avail. Whatever the reason, I hope
eating ramen somehow finds its way on your checklist of things to do over the
summer. To me, people lining up to eat ramen during the peak of summer was one of
the strangest sights in Japan- but after trying it myself, it doesn’t seem all that insane.
Although, I do not plan on doing it a second time…
SM (Student Staff Leader)