This morning I had a noisy breakfast. It all began some years ago in the Japanese city of Kanazawa, where I had gone to run a training workship together with a Tokyo academic called Negishi San. Kanazawa is the only city not to have been bombed in WWII, and for this reason it has wonderful traditional architecture. But that has nothing to do with noisy breakfasts. One evening, Negishi San took me for a stroll round a district not far from where we were staying. I guessed it was what we would call a working-class district.
"Do you feel peckish?" he asked me suddenly. Never one to refuse food, even though we had eaten earlier that evening, I said ok. With this, we pushed through the door of an anonymous building and that was when I discovered the Japanese Noodle House. Huge portions of noodles in steaming bowls were placed in front of us.
"I know in England it is impolite to slurp your soup," he said gently, "but in Japan you are expected to make a slurping noise when you eat noodles."
So I joined the general slurpy cacophony in this unassuming eatery, trying to blend in with the nightworkers, truckers and assorted flotsam slurping at the long counter. I felt very un-British, and gloriously liberated. Slurp slurp slurp SLURP SLURP....
So, thanks to Negishi San, I sometimes have noisy noodles for breakfast.