Le Flamboyant Flaneur


Observe your city, town, street, or patch of earth and report back — in your favorite medium.

The Flamboyant Flaneur

The fellow in this story is a happy traveler. He can not stay home after putting on the shoes of the flaneur or casual wanderer.

The long flight across the Pacific Ocean was uneventful. Arriving at his favorite city, rested and ready to enjoy all it had to offer. He decided to stroll the streets for a while to see what he could find to satisfy his inquiring mind—stopping at several gift shops filled with fancy china, glassware, artwork, jewelry, and trinkets but limited his purchases with thoughts of the luggage scale.

He took a break in a tree-filled park treating his nose to the sweet essence of cherry blossoms. The sweetness was almost overwhelming as He studied the beauty in the mass of Cherry Blossoms. The Cherry Blossom Festival was at its peak, a magnificent event. Geisha Girls were dancing in many locations. They were dancing at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Tokyo’s Ueno Park to coincide with the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.

Cherry Blossoms and Mt. Fuji

Geisha Dancers

He strolled along past the open market where you could buy live or dead ducks, chickens, or whatever your heart desired. There was a sidewalk café, away from the traffic noise and constant horn honking. He decides to rest and indulge himself with some sushi, rice, and green tea. The sushi was delicious, a palate, pleasing delight. There were many flavorful bits of the oceans, best. It was all served on a large platter with some seaweed garnish, boiled rice, and a raw egg. He did not eat to overfill, just enjoyed a good portion of each delicacy to satisfy his taste memories, and then was off to explore the waterfront.

He arrived at the train station just in time for one of the pushers to shove him into the car. The door still hit him in the rear when it closed. That train, crammed full of bodies, would take him to the south end of the city. There He could explore the waterfront and witness the ships going in and out of the harbor, hoping to meet a friend. The weather was beautiful. The sun was past the mid sky. A gentle warm southerly breeze came across the water, a very relaxing place to watch people going to and from their businesses or homes. Most were traveling by foot or bicycle from the fish markets. The saltwater air was noticeable there.

He discovered two young, lovely, friendly ladies on a street corner at the waterfront. They confided in him. They were there to entertain the sailors who came into the bar for refreshments. That bar was a beehive of dancing bodies, bawdy music, and the sound of breaking glass. He didn’t feel the need to step inside. The ladies still offered to show him their wares. He almost honored that offer of an afternoon diversion or short excursion. It could have been a time of relaxation, exploration, even high expectations.

He decided to find his train and go back into the city’s center for a night of rekindling an awesome, memorable friendship, then rest and recovery. He got off the train at Ueno Station and proceeded to his hotel on foot. It was only a short distance away. The city was beginning to quiet as it prepared to sleep. He decided to walk instead of taking a Pedi Cab. It had been a relaxing, memorable day on this return trip to Tokyo for the lone, traveling flaneur.

The night held even more promise for the happy wanderer.


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