The Food Just Wouldn’t Stop Coming

Tonight we had dinner in the Ginza with Kira and Janet’s old neighbors. Naoko-San lived across the street from Kira when they were both teenagers. They did spend some time together, but at the time they could not communicate. In college Naoko studied abroad in California and was able to act as the translator between us and her family. Her mother was there along with her husband and 8 year old son.

I believe the place we ate was called the G-Zone and evidently it is very popular with Gaijin (foreigners). Naoko told us that president Bush ate there when he came to Japan and I think she said Tom Cruise too. I don’t know which Bush she meant, but I hope it was W. because as I recall the food that Bush senior had when he was in Japan didn’t quite agree with him.

I am not going to try and recount all of the dishes that we had because that would keep me up too late. There we a few items that I recognized, like yakitori and tempura, but Naoko took the liberty of ordering many, many dishes for us and we just kept eating. Some were great and some were just OK, but it was really the sheer volume of food that I will remember from this dinner.

Melanie has embraced Japan enthusiastically and tonight’s meal was no different. She was willing to try anything they brought to the table (without meat) and asked our host a lot of questions about the Japanese language. We let Michael bring a book and he took advantage of this to avoid being social. Sarah I think took her cue from me and quiet for most of the meal. I’m horrible at meeting new people and the added stress of the language barrier meant I mostly just nodded and smiled. My most active participation was when Naoko asked what I did for a living. I was ready for this and quickly took out a business card. Given the importance of meishi in Japan I was a little surprised when I did not get one back, but maybe it is more of a business thing than a casual dinner event. Either way, when Naoko explained my job to her husband and Mother I very clearly heard her say I.T.

Other random things:

While the girls went shopping at the local shops Michael and I wandered around a bit. We checked out the oldest amusement park in Japan, but stopped short of going in. We had some Gelato and watched a street performer who was very funny despite us not understanding a word he said.

Melanie is trying very hard to learn to read Katakana characters and it is like being around a little kid learning to read. She reads every sign we pass by. It is pretty great.

Walking back to the hotel last night Janet and Michael were the only ones with any energy because they have had a week to adjust to the time change. As we came down the last street they were both in front of us actually skipping down the street.

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