Mr Hoshide gave me a call at home, to see how I was, and ask when he could start receiving my advice again. He invited me to dinner.
As the local, I selected a Chinese restaurant in Soho, and we had a very pleasant meal. Mr Hoshide commiserated with me about not having been able to give me more business, he said that he almost blamed himself for my redundancy. The Gulf War and the Tokyo stock market collapse had lead to a panicky head office, and left him with permission to do maintenance dealing only, so that there had been very little business for me.
‘We Japanese have small…’ he paused on a mouthful of noodles, ‘...funds.’
I liked Mr Hoshide, he’d been a good, loyal client, but I knew that he operated under more constraints ...