As I was getting starting to get ready for bed around 10:30 last night my phone rang. I reacted with slight alarm. No one ever calls that late. So with some trepidation, I picked up the phone to hear a very familiar voice with its characteristic New York accent ask "Whaddaya doing?" "Getting ready to go to bed." "Whaddya mean getting ready to go to bed. It's only like 10:30 there! Who goes to bed that early?!"
Oh yes, it was Ivan. He has such a charming way of starting phone conversations. Ivan is a friend from college. He used to bribe me to study for Japanese exams with him by promising to cook for me. Now he lives in Tokyo and is a chef. Among news of a friend's new baby, my own soon-to-be-finalized divorce and other catching up, he informed me he is going to fulfill the dream of every Jewish boy from Long Island and open his own ramen shop in Tokyo. If you know anything about ramen (the real stuff, not the instant kind) you'll understand he is going deep. I think he can pull it off. He has the right personality to be a boutique ramen shop owner.