Sunday, February 7, 2010
Hey there Y'all. So, I'm being lazy and haven't really posted lately. I promise to make a legitimate post tomorrow...or the next day. Today I'll just mention the difference in ordering at a restaurant. Here in Japan, when you enter into a restaurant you're either seated by a waiter or, in a more casual establishment, you go sit yourself down wherever you want and then a waiter comes and gives you water/tea and a wet washcloth (a warm one if you're lucky), to wipe your hands off. After that, you look at the menu at leisure, and here's the big difference between the US/Europe and Japan: a waiter doesn't come to take your order. In fact, they don't come around at all after they've given you your towel. So as not to make you feel rushed/show any impatience on their part, Japanese waiters mill around and busy themselves withother stuff and when you are ready to order, want a refill, or need anything whatsoever, you raise your hand, or call out "Sumimasen (excuse me)" and they'll drop whatever they're doing and come help. Also, because many restaurants use digital, handheld order taker things, no waiter is specifically assigned to a certain table, so you can catch just about anyone and ask for what you want. This is a helpful tip for those coming to Japan so you don't sit around forever, then get angry and impatient because no one has come to take your order. Also, there is NO tipping in Japan. It is considered very rude to even try. And while there is tax on things, it is always included in the price you see, which they calculate to come out to an even number. So if you see a dish that says 1000 Yen (appr. $10), it is really something like 980 Yen, but with tax, it's 1000. Pretty handy stuff. That way, you can add up exactly what you're going to spend before you get to the counter, and don't have to worry about what the tax percentage is. Well, I promise to post more interesting things tomorrow: bean throwing with actors, a Denny's by the sea, and getting chatted up at Tsukiji fish market. Sorry I'm lazy! Later you guys!