FANCY CASH REGISTERS will "suck" your money like a vending machine, and then pop out the correct change so the employee doesn't really have to do anything!
MONEY PLATES are 4 x 7" trays with soft teeth on the bottom, and they are in every store. You place your money on the plate, the employee takes the plate, and returns the plate to you with your change.
WHEN YOUR TABLE IS MESSY at a restaurant, the waiter pulls out a metal "crumb brush" and scoots the crumbs off the table.
Yesterday we met out host families. Mine is really neat- they are very similar to my folks! Shigeo-san (host father) is a famous graphic designer, and he wakes up at 5am every day! Yukiko-san (host-mother) is a Japanese teacher and she likes to wake up late when she is on vacation, but Shigeo-san usually wakes her up earlier!
For lunch, Shigeo took me to a fancy Italian restaurant. There were *real Italians* running the store! The food was absolutely the best Italaian food I've ever tasted. We had margherita pizza and ban... something which had capers, fish and oneion! They also served us a delicious appetizer of marinated veggies and smoked fish. After, we had yoguru-tsu ice cream, and "co-hi" (coffee) which seems to mean ANYTHING with coffee. I told him that in the stats, "coffee" means only black coffee, and all the fancy things have other names (latte, expresso, specialty drink). Shigeo is learning Italian, and he and Yukiko like to eat Italian food. On Sunday, I plan to cook Chris and I's special pasta for them!
My house is really interesting. Shigeo-san designed the stairs, which I'll have to take a picture of. The bookcases are neat too, and there is art everywhere! Shigeo-san wants to take me to mueseums and sight-see by foot. I might teach him to play the piano.
They call themselves unusual because Yukiko works outside the house and Shigeo works from home- he has an office downstairs. Yukiko cooks and Shigeo cleans the dishes, much like Vickie and Doug.
Surprisingly, Shigeo is taking Opera-singing lessons, and loves the Opera. I told him that I had seen Carmen.
They have three adult daughters. One is married to a Canadian and lives in Boston. One is married to an Englishman, and lives nearby, but they used to live in Portland! (Small world, huh?). One of the dauthers (the Bostonian?) has a baby. Shigeo talks to all the kids we see on the train or streets; I think he likes children.
Last night, we had tori-niku (I think that's the name). Yukiko and I prepared raw veggies and meats (scallops, beef, shrimp), and we all cooked it on the table on a round electric griddle. It is served with a sauce that is very tasty!
Apparently I made a taboo yesterday, using too casual of language with some store clerks. Shigeo seemed rather upset and told Yukiko san. They explained it to me repeatedly... ooops.
I have to take a placement test today, bah. Might go to Harajuku, the young people/fashion district, with a friend of one of the Oregon students. Well, I'm off to seize the day!