At CoCo’s curry, you get to decide how spicy you want your food to be. Mari claims to love spicy food, and so she recommends we all get level four spice.
Elliott. Is level four really spicy?
Mari. No not really. It’s like a good spicy.
Billy. If you think it’s good then I’m on board. I need some spicy food.
We order the food, or I should say Mari orders, because she’s the only one of us who can speak Japanese. To order, you press down on a little brown box that sits on the table, and within seconds someone is there to take your order. The arrival of the food is no less prompt, and so in moments we’re talking over curry.
Elliott. I’ve got an eyelash in my eye.
Billy. Or are your eyes just watering from this spicy curry?
Elliott. It’s the eyelash. See? Here it is. Now, let me think of a wish.
I think of a wish and blow away the eyelash.
Mari. Why did you think of a wish?
Elliott. You guys don’t do that here? The story goes that if you find an eyelash you should place it on your fingertip, think of a wish, and blow the eyelash away. If you do all this, the wish will come true.
Mari. This is true?
Billy. No. Not everyone does that.
Elliott. I do it, and I think it’s true.
Mari. In Japan, whenever we lose a tooth we make a wish and try to throw the tooth on top of a roof. The wish only comes true if the tooth successfully lands on the roof.
Elliott. Have you ever tried throwing your teeth on a roof?
Mari. Yes, but I could never reach the roof. That’s why none of my wishes ever come true.
At this point Mari’s eyes are watering and her face is flushed. I think she is going to cry over her tragically weak throwing arm, but then she presses the service button again and a waiter bustles over. Mari points to a sign on the table that depicts some kind of sauce. The waiter smiles and walks away, and we hear the rest of the staff laughing amongst themselves. It turns out Mari’s watery eyes and flushed face had nothing to do with sadness. She couldn’t care less about her lost teeth and wishes. She was ordering a honey sauce that lowers the level of spice, and the staff undoubtedly thought the sauce was for the two foreigners. She looks at me with distress, and says, “Too spicy. I don’t like.”