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Amparo Bertram

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04:21 pm: Adventures on the town
Yesterday I went to the bookstore to pick up the next book in a series I've started reading. Bookstores should come with warning labels: Caution! Your money will vanish inside these doors! Yes, I wound up buying WAY more books than I had intended. Three on kimono reform and one on watercolor flowers...but...but...pretty pictures!

In the afternoon I had a dentist appointment to get my second cavity filled. Japanese dentist offices have two features that are distinctly different from American dentist offices:
  1. You have to take your shoes off at the door.
  2. Patients aren't given individual rooms; the dentist chairs are all lined up in one big room like at a beauty salon.

This particular office also had an apparatus at each chair where the dentist could use a wand-like device to take digital pictures of the patient's teeth and display them on a monitor for the patient to see. It was quite nifty.

Traditionally, Japanese people haven't worried much about the appearance of their teeth. In fact, Japanese noblewomen used to paint their teeth black in order to appear more beautiful. That has changed recently, with the increasing popularity of all things Western, not to mention television. Still, having less-than-perfect-teeth isn't too much of a drawback, even for celebrities.

The dentist I got this time, different from my previous visit, did his best to speak English to me. That was quite thoughtful of him. Still, it threw me when he would use words like "caries" instead of "cavities." He told me that I had very few cavities compared to most of the young people he sees, and he asked to take pictures of my teeth. (I wondered what he wanted them for... ^_^;) Rather than use the digital camera wand, he actually had a couple of the assistants take snapshots.

He also said that having your teeth cleaned in America is very expensive, but it is cheap in Japan so I can get it done once a month. (Yeah, whatever. I highly doubt my teeth need to be professionally cleaned every month.) I did, however, make a cleaning appointment for two weeks from now, and then put my shoes on and left. I had gotten all the way home before I realized I had completely forgotten to pay. @_@ I biked back and went to the counter, where the nice lady gave me a look like "What are you doing here?" I explained that I hadn't paid, so she hauled out my file and told me how much I owed. I was surprised at how laidback she was about the whole thing; I guess they figured they'd just add it to my bill next time?

When I got home, I saw that I had a message on my answering machine letting me know that my embroidery hoops had arrived. So today I went down to Lala Port to pick them up...and do some other random shopping. I only intended to buy a couple grocery items, honest. But I kept finding more things I wanted. <sigh>

On my way home from my shopping spree, I stopped at an Italian restaurant called Olive Kitchen that I'd never been to before. I would always see it whenever I was shopping in the area, but I would never be in the mood to eat out. This time I figured I would give it a try. It was around 2pm, so I thought I would have missed the lunch rush, but the place was packed. The price for each item on the menu was high, but it all came with unlimited free drinks and "salad bar." There were no carbonated drinks, but there were five kinds of juice, plus many varieties of tea and coffee. The "salad" part of the salad bar was mainly lettuce, tomato, and onion, but there were a number of other scrumptious-looking items. The ones I tried were focaccia with pear spread and kabocha cooked with black olives and rosemary. I honestly could have filled up on those two things alone.

The real draw, however, is the dessert selection--for less than $3, you get three small dessert portions added to your meal. The desserts all looked quite nummy, I was unfortunately too full from my spaghetti main course to try any. They do have a "tea time" special, though, where you can order just dessert. I may have to try that someday.

In my remaining free time, I've been working steadily on my yukata page. I've finally gotten to the collar section, which is the last part of how to make it. ...Now I'm wondering if I should add another page that describes how to wear it. (Or am I just making too much work for myself?)

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[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:June 5th, 2005 02:34 am (UTC)
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It was around 2pm, so I thought I would have missed the lunch rush, but the place was packed.

I've had this happen to me before, too, and (from an overheard conversation at work) I gather that 2-3pm IS the lunch rush on weekends. I guess people get up later and/or eat breakfast later, and when out shopping one thing leads to another and it's mid-afternoon before anyone is hungry.

Now I'm wondering if I should add another page that describes how to wear it.

As a perfectionist, you might like to have your own page that suits your own tastes, but keep in mind there are quite a few "how to wear" pages out there, and you could always just link to one of those.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 5th, 2005 03:00 am (UTC)
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I gather that 2-3pm IS the lunch rush on weekends.

~_~ If I knew that, I wouldn't have waited, killing time by doing more shopping, enduring my empty stomach until I thought it was safe to venture inside.

but keep in mind there are quite a few "how to wear" pages out there, and you could always just link to one of those.

And you're not just saying that because you want me to get back to fanfic... ^_~
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:June 5th, 2005 03:54 am (UTC)
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And you're not just saying that because you want me to get back to fanfic... ^_~

Oh ye of little faith! Check out the 216,000 hits on google.

Not that I don't want you to work on fanfic...
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:June 5th, 2005 03:03 pm (UTC)

Who'd have thunk?

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Patients aren't given individual rooms; the dentist chairs are all lined up in one big room like at a beauty salon.

Our family dentist recently built his own new office complex, and, although he still has individual rooms, has all the chairs facing these huge picture windows that face the parking lot. That means that you are all exposed for all the world to see as you are being served. It's a bit embarrassing, I think. I'm almost embarrassed even walking into the office from the parking lot because you know they are all watching you, too.

I read a recent "Dear Abby" letter in which someone had a situation similar to the one you described. A friend of his walked up and started talking to him. He didn't like it, because he didn't like everyone else to know that he had dentures, and they were out of his mouth at the time.

Anyway, the privacy features we were so used to, seem to be a disappearing element in our dental care.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 6th, 2005 04:09 am (UTC)

Re: Who'd have thunk?

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although he still has individual rooms, has all the chairs facing these huge picture windows that face the parking lot.

My seat was in front of a window, too. I mostly ignored it. Instead, I spent any spare waiting time making faces in the mirror next to me.
[User Picture]
From:megory
Date:June 6th, 2005 12:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Who'd have thunk?

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Instead, I spent any spare waiting time making faces in the mirror next to me.

LOL

Cool! I can see you now...

0_0 *_* X_X ^-^ ^_^ :P etc.
[User Picture]
From:havocthecat
Date:June 5th, 2005 04:27 pm (UTC)
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Um, given that I don't know what a yukata is (sorry) any information on the page will be of use and interest to me! :)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 6th, 2005 04:06 am (UTC)
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any information on the page will be of use and interest to me!

Good to know!
[User Picture]
From:havocthecat
Date:June 6th, 2005 06:27 am (UTC)
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Always glad to help! Do you know when will the page be ready? :)
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 6th, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC)
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Do you know when will the page be ready?

I don't know. I think I need the sewing teacher to explain the Collar Origami to me one more time. (I neglected to take pictures, which was a bad judgment call.)
[User Picture]
From:evil_overlord
Date:June 5th, 2005 11:40 pm (UTC)
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Naw, actually, making your own page on 'how to wear a yukata" would be good....it would finish off the section, you know? *G*

And the resteraunt sounded downright yummy!! Glad you got to enjoy it, even if it was busy. ^_^
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:June 6th, 2005 04:04 am (UTC)
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Naw, actually, making your own page on 'how to wear a yukata" would be good....it would finish off the section, you know?

And give me an excuse to model.

I'm shy. Really.

A shy exhibitionist. It's a hard life. ~_~

(And I'm deleting/reposting just so I can use the right icon. How sad is that?)

Glad you got to enjoy it, even if it was busy.

Next time I go, I think I'll order the cheapest item on the lunch menu...and not eat it. (I didn't order the cheapest item this time because it had bacon in it.) That way I'll have room for more salad bar/dessert.

(I would tell them not to bother even serving me the main item, but, well, I don't know how they'd take that...)
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