It was just a normal night at the brewery with Mae and myself: pouring beers, meeting neat people and giving a Chinese interpreted brewery tour. 😉 At the end of the tour they wanted some pictures, which I was happy to take. I reached for their camera, they said “No, no.. of you!”. I should have known better working in the restaurant industry as long as I have of certain stereotypes that have almost always proven true. I was happy to oblige these kind and interesting Chinese men (one who I picked up owned some sort of winery in China) and pose for the picture of only me in front of our brewery logo on the wall. Going back to the bar I was reminded of the last time a picture like that was taken of me and shared the story with Mae, which I will soon share with you. It’s funny to me because so often weird and pretty entertaining things happen in my life that I don’t blink twice about until I share the story with others. It’s not until people point out how ridiculous they sound that the same occurs to me! Mae is one of these gals who must find my life a little wackado.
I first experienced this cultural difference when we were on a family vacation to San Francisco at the age of 9 or 10 when I was asked for the first time to pose for a picture by an Asian family also touring the city. By the age of 23 and a waitress downtown Chicago at Rock Bottom, I was not phased by this custom so when a Japanese table ordered their flight of beer, took out their camera and asked me to smile for the picture I held up the menu and didn’t think twice about it. If I had, I would have fixed my totally jacked up bangs. When I asked what they were in town for they replied that they wrote the Chicago Travel Guide for Japanese business men.
A year or so later I had switched jobs and was serving at another brewery in the city. I received an alarming text of a photo of me holding a Rock Bottom menu with the words RESTAURANTS both in English and Japanese across my chest! As it turned out, a Japanese man had stopped into Rock Bottom to find me. My former coworkers convinced them to leave the book and he left me a message to email him. Apparently, I was seen in Tokyo as well! I am the only human being photographed in the entire book and I am also the corner tab on EVERY page in the restaurant section. I debated whether or not to email him and decided that he was probably just a creeper and never did. This was 6 years ago and when I think back I wished I would have emailed him to at least find out what he wanted. Did he want to pay me royalties for my ‘beautiful’ picture? Did he want me to model for more editions of the Chicago Travel Guides? Was I about to become a Japanese sensation!?? These are questions I will never know the answers to!! Is 6 years too late to send an email to Mr. Hirano??? If I have learned anything, life’s biggest regret is when you are forced to say WHAT IF?! So when an opportunity knocks on your door, no matter how crazy it looks – I SAY TAKE IT- YOU COULD BECOME THE NEXT JAPANESE SENSATION!
(… and also listen to your gut because who knows… he totally could have been a creeper 😉 )