• Beniko

36. Jello at Shinshido Cafe


On my day off, or in-between the lessons, my Okasan (お母さん, female owner of Yakata) and Oneisan (お姉さん, mentor Geiko) used to take me to the cafe called Shinshindo (進々堂) at the Gion (祇園) district around the corner of the Kiridooshi (切通し) and the Shijo (四条) streets. After I became a Geiko (芸妓), I often went there with my colleagues and spend some fun time over sandwiches and jellos.

Shisnshindo is a long established cafe, and one of their specialties is jello with pieces of strawberry and tangerine. Back then we used to order, "I'd like to have an Akai-no (赤いの, the red one)”, and "Oh, I'd go with the Midori-no (緑の, the green one)", and the colors eventually became the products' names.

As for the Ichigo (いちご, strawberry) parfait, we called it Kuchu-Kuchu (くちゅくちゅ, sound of mixing sticky creams). It's probably because everybody liked to crush the whole thing in the glass including strawberries and ice cream with a spoon.

The egg sandwich they serve is not the one with boiled eggs, but with a thick omelet. It was so delicious that I always ate too much. My Okasan used to chide me saying, "Don't you eat too much. No customer wants a chubby Maiko!" My customers also used to have the same sandwich delivered to their Ozashiki (お座敷, buffet with Maiko and Geiko), and not a few customers said that they cannot have any other egg sandwich after they have tasted it.

In our conversation over jellos at Shinshindo, whether red ones or green ones, we forgot the time and spoke about our lessons, Oszashiki, and our favorite actors... We were very young and the subjects never ended...

Thank you very much.

Talk to you soon.

Beniko

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