Friday, June 4, 2010
Day 12: An Interesting Dinner.....
Most of my experiences in Japan up to this point were very positive, but some have been a bit.....interesting.
I was invited to an Italian restaurant, called Kitchen Tatsuhiro, by a student of my host-mother (who is an english teacher) and there were many people there I didn't know. I felt a little out of place and everyone treated me differently because I wasn't super fluent in Japanese. The restaurant itself was very quaint and cool; lots of vintage Italian movie posters and wine bottles were everywhere. We were served community style and had different courses. First course was a delightful hors d'œuvres and I looked forward to the rest of the meal. Sadly, none of the other courses save dessert were very good. The pizza was a cracker covered in cheese and some sauce, with halved cherry tomatoes on top. The first pasta was a bolognese sauce that lacked much taste, and the second pasta was a clam pasta that also lacked any taste. The dessert was tiramisu, and was so delicious! I really enjoyed it; it was so light and creamy! It was my first time eating tiramisu and it was a good one!
However, I felt like a token American and everyone kept asking me questions, like "are you okay with soy sauce?" Are chopsticks difficult for you?" Are you in culture shock?" and the like. I was okay with answering those, but then one man asked if I was in culture shock, to which I replied no, and then asked me if I am surprised that people in Japan don't lick their plates! He then started to pretend to lick his plate and everyone laughed. I was in shock. Perhaps I am being a little sensitive, but I found it rude. The conversation left me feeling lonely and very much like an outsider. It was very nice of Toyoko-san to invite me to dinner, but it didn't go as I had thought it would. I have to admit I was dissappointed with the experience. There were some nice girls there though, including one who had gone to college at SF State; she kept telling me how much she missed SF. I suppose Japanese people have a skewed image of Americans, but I won't let that bring me down!