After all my years here some things still surprise me…
Some friends we hadn't seen in a while came down our way so we planned a bit of a get together. There were three families all together- we three, our friends with their two boys and my friends the Zs with their boy.
This being the busy year-end-party season, there were not a lot of places with space for a gaggle of gaijin with kids so we ended up at a small pub all seated at the counter. When we got there the Z boys were already settled at the counter and the 8 year-old was drinking "kiddie beer" while dad was into the real stuff. Let me digress and explain this "kiddie beer". It's a kind of carbonated soda that really looks like beer. The little boys thought it was great fun to look like the "big boys". And as for the small pub I guess it could seat a max of 26 people. It is also important to know that you can bring your kids in with you to pubs here.
We managed to have some pretty decent conversations despite being at the counter and the food, I thought, was quite nice. We adults were having a nice time though I must admit that the kids were getting pretty restless by now.
The mention of a nice cup of coffee got the idea of doughnuts in our heads so we decided to pick up doughnuts for dessert to eat back at our place. Then we realized that the shop shut in 30 mins. We hurriedly got things ready to go home- we packed up bags, packed up kids and paid our tabs amid throwing suggestions about who go where and who pick up what.
My friend, MrDad counted his kids, and headed out. At this point one of the servers said to me that one of the kids was in the restroom. I figured it was the 8 year-old after all he had had a lot to drink. I alerted his mom who answered that he was already in the car.
By this point Mr Dad had been to his car and realized that he had counted the wrong heads! When he went back in the pub he was quickly alerted about the 3 year-old in the restroom. This particular pub has only one restroom for both men and women but since it was the 3 year old he hadn't locked the door. This was no surprise but my friend was quite surprised to see one of the servers right in there beside the little guy.
MrDad was a little embarassed to hear that the little guy decided that he just had to "do a job" just as everyone was leaving and the nearest person he could snag was the server who diligently went in there to help him. MrDad got there in time to do the "dirty work" of cleaning up but I wonder just how far beyond the call of duty this woman would have gone? And they don't even get tips in this country!