There’s a restaurant in my neighborhood that I ate dinner at shortly after I moved to Yokohama. Since in those days I worked night shift, I walked through the door around 9:30 p.m., asked for a table for one, and ordered my food.
It turned out to be one of the blandest, least satisfying meals I’ve ever had, but that restaurant is still in business, more than a decade later, so the food can’t be that bad. In hindsight, I think the fact that it was about the 20th meal in a row I’d eaten alone was affecting my sense of taste. Spending too much time by yourself can mess with your head, and the social aspect of eating with a friend can really add a lot to your enjoyment of the meal, which is why a researcher in Japan says that if you’re going to be eating by yourself, you should put a mirror on the table.