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:
- You have to take your shoes off at the door.
- 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?)