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Maneki neko - the welcome cat

I haven’t been posting every week, even though I have a lot to talk about. For example, I recently celebrated a birthday.

I like birthdays, especially mine. This year, I decided to take full advantage of my birthday. When it’s cold outside it’s easy to sit in the comfort of your home and do a little bit of research. I came across some businesses that offer discounts on birthdays. I created another e-mail account just for the purpose of collecting birthday e-mails from companies that send gift certificates (plus, I didn’t want to have to sift through all of the extra advertisement e-mails in my regular account).

In Vancouver, I used to just go for my free coffee at Blenz. One time I went to Denny’s and got a free breakfast (I went with someone who celebrates heir birthday the day after mine and I offered to go back again the next day, but she said, “No, that’s ok”). This time, I found a lot of birthday offers.

In addition to getting free coffee at Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and a discount off of my order at Paradise cafe, discounts for stores, free makeup (I haven’t picked it up yet), I received a gift certificate for the restaurant, Benihana’s.

I had never been there before, but I always think of the episode of the The Office, (The Benihana Christmas) when Michael, Andy, Jim and Dwight go to Benihana’s for lunch  in the hopes of helping Michael get over his recent relationship woes. (Andy claims that it’s the “Asian Hooters”).

When I went to Benihana’s, the place was hopping. A lot of people were celebrating birthdays (and I couldn’t help but notice that most of them were under the age of 12). We started off in the lounge, which was cozy and intimate and I would consider going there for a drink; it was separate from the area where the chefs cook at the tables. We were later seated at a table with a family (basically a rectangular table with a fryer on the table for the chef to cook in front of you). The show was ok. There were some jokes, (“Here are the marshmallows” when describing the scallops). I remember going to something similar with my family in Calgary a long time ago. The chef was hilarious (of course, I was 12 years-old, and probably easily impressed with the jokes). The food at Benihana’s was nothing to write home about–so I won’t.

One thing that was odd about this visit, was the server, who was kind of hitting on B.B. Another weird moment was when I declined my birthday ice cream (we just survived an ice storm) she said, “No? Well, how about your buddy?” It didn’t bother me, (as one of my Vancouver friends would say, “Whatev!”) but it was weird.

It was an interesting experience, but I don’t think that I would go back to Benihana’s again. Sorry, no high-five for the maneki neko.

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