Saturday, June 14

Fancy Dinner & Successful (albeit hilarious) Shopping

Have I mentioned I love eating out for work, here?

Yesterday I went to Kyoto Industrial University with Takemori-San to take a look at a potential project for Osaka Gas. The professor and his sidekick students have been developing the projection of images onto mist...which is relevant to Osaka Gas because, well, they developed, produce, and sell the mist sauna. So we went to have a look.

Considering the fact that I caught and understood about 1% of the conversation, I don't really know - but it seemed a little underdeveloped to me. The image was projected onto the far wall of the mist sauna - and you could see bits of it in the mist. I was sort of expecting something like they have on Bones - the 3D reconstruction system.

I decided yesterday that I didn't care if I was a giant, I was going to wear my high heels, darn it!! So I did. And yes, I am already 5'8", and yes, that put me up to almost 6'. And yes, I was rather tall. It just so happened - too - that there was an unusually short woman on the train beside me. Her forehead was at my bellybutton. I'm not exaggerating. However - I discovered that after not wearing heels for 5 months, wearing them for a 14 hour day is a bad plan. Suffice to say my feet were very angry with me by the end of the day.

After seeing the demonstration of the mist pictures, we went out to dinner - as we usually do when there are meetings in the afternoon. We went Italian.

Oh my goodness. First of all - this place was fancy, which was kinda fun. Second of all, everyone (being the professor, another Osaka Gas guy, and Takemori-San) decided to order the 'course' of course I did, too. The course consisted of an appetizer, a pasta or risotto, a main dish, and a drink. The dishes all had fancy names with Italian bits, and all sounded divine. I chose seasonal vegetables for my appetizer, a Porcini mushroom sauce pasta dish, roasted lamb, and tea. I was right - it was divine. It came out in little bits on large white plates, and both looked and tasted incredible. Since I didn't understand most of the conversation anyways, I focussed on my food, and I savored every - little - bit. Heavenly.

And of course, because we're in Japan, we had alcoholic beverages. I generally have beer...well, everyone generally starts with beer...but I decided to have a Shirley Temple instead. As far as Japanese drinking customs go (as my Mother can attest), once your glass is almost empty, you get another one. We all moved onto our second drinks, and I ordered a Screwdriver. Mostly because I know what it is, and I didn't know what a lot of the other ones were. Well - apparently, this was hilarious. They alll 'eugghh??!?!'d and started laughing and chattering in Japanese. Of course, I have no idea why this is funny. A couple minutes later, it came up again, with another round of laughing. I don't like to be laughed at. Usually. And to be honest, it was bugging me. So I asked - "Why is it so funny that I ordered a screwdriver?" Takemori-San said, "It is famous to be a strong drink." Uh...okay. I told them I was an Engineer and Engineers could handle their beer and liquor. I also told them that some people thought women couldn't drink - but I think they are wrong. When I got the drink, they all watched out of the corners of their eyes - I suppose to see if I was going to spit out this very strong drink or make a face when I realized just how strong it was. I didn't. It was good. My third drink was a Red Eye. I asked for a recommendation, and no one knew what any of the drinks were, but the Professor was having a Red Eye - tomato juice and beer. My first instincts were a) eww and b) what a waste of beer! But I had to try it. It was surprisingly good.

Wow, that turned into a long paragraph. Anyways. Guess how much the meal cost? I'm going to guess $244 (4 x $40 course, 3 drink x 4 people x $7). Note that nobody blinked and the other Osaka Gas guy grabbed the cheque. Have I mentioned I love attending work-related dinners?

Today - I tried really really hard to be Japanese. I decided that I was going to buy a Japanese shirt. One very popular style of shirt is adorable on the Japanese women, but I can't picture it on me. Well, I can, but it makes me giggle. But I decided that I was going to get one. So I went to the mall.

First I had to find a shirt that I could stomach the thought of wearing more than once. Secondly, I decided that if I was going to do this, it wasn't going to be white, it had to be patterned or colored. Because the patterns look like something from several decades ago in Canada. But they're very popular here. So I tried on several shirts from several stores. But each time I got into the changeroom and put it on, straightened up and looked in the mirror, a strange thing happened. I laughed. I laughed so hard that I had to cover my mouth so they wouldn't wonder what was wrong with me - and at the end of the shopping trip, my abs hurt. Don't get me wrong - the style looks adorable and great on the Japanese women. But it just doesn't suit me, and seeing it on me.... was a little hilarious. But - I was successful! I found a shirt that fit my criteria that actually looked decent on me, and I would be willing to wear. I'll post a picture when I get one.

And that was yesterday and today. The End.

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