Travel broadens the mind, the places you visit the things that you see, smell, hear and taste may stay with you forever. They might just not be close to hand at times, they sit untouched until something from the now bring them out of their dusty cupboard in your memory.
Today the feather duster was wafted over the memory cupboard titled "Japan holidays 2006".
Due to the appearance of winters weather, why are we so surprised and "floored" when it arrives? I'm now heading home on a train. Not wishing to build a buttress to peckish-ness with railway fare I trawled Kings Cross rail station pre departure looking for tasty morsels and I spied upon a Japanese inspired take away shop.
Inside on the shelves lay tempting sushi, sashimi, noodle and curry pots. Soups , curry, broths and much, much more. I settled on a bento box of sorts.
A bento box is a Japanese staple either home made or purchased in department stores, supermarkets, bento shops, convenience stores or railway stations.
It is made up of a portion of fish or meat with rice, pickles and vegetables. The combinations are many but the visual presentation and taste sensation outweigh the usual sandwich or burger that you might find in the UK.
So with my food (katsu chicken pieces, rice, beans and the less traditional crisps) purchased for the journey I made my way to the train. I boarded, found my seat and placed the goods on the small fold down table in front of me.
That's when the cloud of dust happened as my memory was stirred into animation as I was transported back to April 2006, cherry blossom season, Tokyo.
Prior to our departure we had visited the basement of the adjoining department store to buy food for our first journey on the Japanese rail inter-city network using a bullet train , the Shinkansen. Each member of the family had a different combination in their bento box. We boarded that train and placed the food on the fold down tables. More room on Japanese trains, more comfortable seating a much better train travel experience than in the UK.
As the train sped along the straight Japanese lines we munched and shared. Not a western piece of cutlery in sight, chopsticks to the fore. As the journey was smooth there were no unfortunate chopstick up nose type of accidents. More shoogly my train journey is here and as a result I was grateful for my fork to stab those beans, goodness knows the mess I would have made with chopsticks.
The food today was typically Japanese in that it was fresh and very tasty. The journey although perhaps not up to Japanese standards was acceptable and much better than sitting on a metal tube 35,000 feet up. Assuming of course I would have taken off in the first place.
The dust is now settling back on top of my memories but perhaps I need to get up there more often to brush away the dust and cobwebs and rootle around the memory cupboards?