Friday, October 16, 2009

First language victory

One of our recent Japanese language class exercises was to be able to use the phone to call someone at a store. Being a conisseur of all things pizza, what better way to test my mad skills than to order a a fresh pie for delivery? The first question of "ima yatte imasu ka?" would establish whether the Pizza La restaurant was open. Next was my name and address. Fortunately I know both of these important pieces of info. One thing that we've discovered about Japan is that you can't tell the ingredients based on a photo. That being said, it was something of a leap of faith to order the "Furansu san kamanberu to yon shurui no hammu" pizza. All I knew is that hopefully it had meat on it. Pepperoni is not found here! ピザを頼みたいんですが means I'd like to order a pizza. Of course I cheated and wrote the whole script out in romaji-English characters so I could pronounce it easier. Long story short, I made it all the way to the end, or rather what I thought was the end and they deviated from the script. Apparently he didn't have the same copy I had and prceeded to talk for what felt like minutes. From the cloud of confusion I gleaned two phrases - kyou wa & supeshiaru savisu. Perhaps he was offering something more than I wanted. As in any country it is considered rude to dismiss hospitality as my language teacher explained, he was offering freebies for this campaign. How could I resist? After that last bit of confusion I wasn't sure whether it would arrive, but sure enough 30 minutes later we had hot pizza at our door and we all enjoyed the fruit of my confusion. Turns out the pizza had lots of things on it including tomatoes, ham, bacon, and different types of cheese. In lieu of tomato sauce, mayonaise was used. Sounds strange, but Japanese love them some mayo so I didn't complain. There weren't any leftovers, but this one 15 inch thin crust pizza came in around $38.50. Sigh.