I just got back from the most careful, attentive haircut I’ve ever had. 2000円 got me a dampening with a wet cloth, a meticuous clipper treatment around the back and sides, a very deliberate cut, and then a powdering to reveal any stray hairs, followed by a solid cleanup, and then an old-style shaving brush to facilitate a straight-razor shave around the edges of the back and sides, all wrapped up by a thorough brushing and wiping to eliminate any clippings. I think I spent as much time in the chair today as I did the last three visits to my regular barber. It was a fine example of Japanese dedication to one’s work, and a damn fine haircut, too.
Aside from that, I went on what I thought might actually be a date last night, but the girl (whose name is Yuri) ended up inviting two friends — a girl she works with and a girl she’s known since elementary school, neither of whom knew each other — most likely to soften the meeting. It was fine, though; her friends were really nice, and we all went to dinner. We took Yuri’s car — Okazaki’s a car town, remember — to a restaurant whose name I never did catch. Yuri’s English is excellent, so we switched back and forth, while the other two girls didn’t speak any English. I had a nigirizushi plate, but in typical Japanese style, there were many smaller dishes throughout the meal. I ate most everything, except for a bit of eggplant tempura and my squid-meat nigiri (I’m just not a fan of squid). I managed to impress the girls with my “itadakimasu” before dinner, my usage of chopsticks, and the fact that I knew how to use my chopstick sleeve as a rest for them (though I couldn’t do the fancy knot-style rest like they could). Afterward, we agreed to go to Rairaitei sometime, since they’d never been, and Yuri dropped me off back near the dorm.
It took a week and a half, but I finally seem to have adjusted to Okazaki.