google translate

Twice now, I’ve gone through the Narita International airport and just needed a meal. Three years ago, I had a 17 hour layover and was able to stash my luggage in a locker and take the train into Narita proper; this time around I only had 90 minutes so I hit up a sushi station near gate 32.

Both times, it was just great fucking food. Simple, flavorful, made efficiently like a cooking show for one.

Sushi Kyotatsu

Sushi Kyotatsu

Maguro and a Lager

Maguro and a Lager

Figuring out a message

Figuring out a message

The third image is really the point of the story -
this is the great trick I figured out in Narita three years ago -
a way to say thank you.

I typed in what I wanted to say, trying to keep it to the point but also complimentary and conveying what I was really feeling. It was translated, and when you turn the phone sideways, it gives you this:


This is the best part.

As the man who sliced my fish handed me the bill, I showed him my phone - and the moment went like this:

  1. Huh?

  2. Squint

  3. Read

  4. Delight

  5. Smile

  6. Nod

  7. Nudge other sushi makers

  8. They come over

  9. More reading

  10. More delight

It is one of my favorite things in this world to say thank you in a way it can really be received.