Posted by: thewhitesintokyo | November 27, 2008

Mamma mia!

That phrase makes both of us laugh tonight, for a few reasons. First of all, we nearly fell prey to a second “scam the foreigners” attempt, at the same restaurant where it happened last!

I felt like saying one of Mario’s catch phrases, “Mamma mia!” when I figured out what these guys were up to. Both times that they have brought us our change, they have tried to give us 10 yen (cent) coins rather than 100 yen coins. I imagine they think we probably don’t know the difference. However, since I sometimes border on the obsessive side when it comes to finances, I always total up the bill, and have luckily caught them both times.

The first time, I thought, oh it’s just a simple mistake from the waiter. But it happened again, at the same restaurant. So, they’ve got to be doing it on purpose. Are we going to go back there? Surprisingly, yes. It’s our favorite restaurant in Tokyo. And its name…

Mamma mia.

One more interesting tidbit about our restaurant experience and our observations of the “politeness” of Tokyo-ites (to the extreme). Our server hadn’t come around in a while after bringing drinks and appetizers, so I grabbed the attention of one of the sous chefs who was walking by (I didn’t know he was a chef until after what happened next). He stood behind me, as I stumbled through our order. By now, I’m ordering in short phrases that are 90% Japanese and 10% Engish. When he walked away, I noticed that he had written the entire order on his hand…since he wasn’t carrying a paper pad…since he wasn’t actually a server.

So, rather than saying, “hold on a sec” and getting a server or some paper, he politely took our exhausting order without hesitating. That’s Tokyo for ya.


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