Over the weekend I ate lunch with my grandma's friends at the Tokyo Station Hotel. I am very thankful that we were all able to meet in central Tokyo and have a long meal. The Tokyo Station Hotel, just like the name suggests, is inside the Tokyo Station on the Marunouchi side. The hotel used to have old decor apparently, but it was renovated and is now very beautiful. Because it is inside the station, the hotel is very small and there are limited rooms, but the rooms look very beautiful from what I can see online. I wish I could try and stay there!
There is also limited seating at their restaurants, but we were fortunate enough to get seats without a reservation. We had a set meal and for my main course I chose the beef stew. It was very delicious although I personally feel like it was more like beef stroganoff because of the pasta in it. You could taste the wonderful wine flavor in the beef sauce.
I wish I got a better picture, as well as had pictures of the actual hotel, but there are not a lot of places to take photos as the lobby is very small and there is virtually no seating area.
Afterwards we parted ways and I did a bit of shopping before heading to dinner with my other Japanese friend. I feel like even though I speak Japanese most of the time while I am here, I still have a pretty bad accent for many phrases and I feel like my accent, although it might improve over time, will always be present. I am okay with having an accent as long as I can be understood. There are plenty of people around the world who have an accent when speaking English and they can communicate just fine.
Sometimes when I am not understood, maybe because I may butcher my pronunciation on a word when I try to speak too fast, people in public service like at the convenience stores automatically then assume that I really do not know anything and then speak very. slow. Japanese. For example, an older guy at the convenience store who is very nice didn't hear me when I answered "yes" that I wanted my food heated up, so he asked me three times and each time I said louder, はい、お願いします. I feel like maybe in this particular moment my accent was not the problem, but then when he asked if I had a point card, etc. he proceeded to mime each word assuming I would not understand (example: make a shape of a rectangle with his hands when he asked if I had a point card). I try not to get too annoyed when people do not understand me and then speak overly simplified Japanese to me, but then if I follow up with an actual conversation, most people will say something like, "Wow you are soooo good at Japanese." An American YouTuber who is very fluent in Japanese made a video about the "set menu" 定食 of questions that often follow after a Japanese person says to a foreigner that their Japanese is "so good" 日本語がお上手ですね. Questions like "where are you from?" or "are you an English teacher?" are very common for foreigners who speak Japanese but do not look Asian.
This is my final week of my internship–I cannot believe that I will go home in under two weeks. I will be doing something a little different this week so I hope I can perform well and give guests proper hospitality and service.