Learning Japanese in context: when the girls shriek nizumi and point at the mouse in the corner of the bakery, you don’t forget it quickly. (Cultural common ground confirmed it, nizumi as in Mickey.)
Rolling out hundreds of biscuits is mendokusai, boring and dull. And anything cute is of course, kawaiiii. At the end of the day comes the most elegant salutation, otsukare sama desu. Honorable Mrs Tired (you have worked well today).
The only important word I have struggled with so far is for the tea: I know how to ask what it is, but I never understand the answer. Five repetitions later, I convert aru gurei into Earl Grey, feeling like an idiot, and very un-English.
Working at the bakery is only hard because my millefeuilles aren’t straight enough, my eclairs aren’t properly shiny. Not because everyone speaks Japanese. Language barrier? Pointing and giggling and miming normally does the trick. Otherwise I get tea for breakfast and tea for lunch, dented macarons in between. Like home.
Another tea themed cocktail to celebrate (tea-party food to follow shortly):
Cardamom tea-infused rum with grapefruit and lemon
Steep cardamom tea in rum for 24 hours. (1 tsp strong tea leaves for 250ml). Mix a shot with a dash of limoncello and a splash of sugar syrup (equal parts sugar and water, brought to a boil and left to cool. Top with grapefruit juice, taste and adjust accordingly. Stick a neat lemon slice on the edge of the glass for a classy touch.