55. Not bad

“Mark my word,” dé Dale assured me, as he was getting out of his car. “Imaizumi is the next Daimyō.”

Everything—the coolest bars, trendiest restaurants, the most fashionable boutiques—was moving south to the neighborhood which was at the time still an unfrequented corner of the city with narrow, convoluted roads, a collection of seedy love hotels, and shabby apartment buildings.

“I watch these things very carefully,” dé Dale told me as he pressed the lock button on the car key. The Mercedes chirped.

“Tell me, how much are you paying for parking alone every month?”

“Rémy, I never ask how much something costs. I ask myself, how can I affordit.”

That witty little remark sounded awfully familiar, but I couldn’t quite place it.

“So, when are you going to open up a boutique in Imaizumi, yourself?” I asked.

“I’m going one better,” he answered proudly. “I’m going to move my head office to Yakuin once I find a property I like.”

Yakuin was further south still, and one train station away from Tenjin, the commercial heart of the city.

“Why Yakuin?”

“The new subway line.”

It was under construction at the time, due to be completed in about five years’ time. 

“Besides,” he said, “I’ve already got a shop in the ZEEX building over there.”

“You do?” The man amazed me. “How many places you got now?”



“Not bad for a Jew who started out selling trinkets from a box on the street, is it?”