I needed to wake up at 5am this morning. Because it is not extremely busy at the moment, I hoped to finish around 3pm. But no! We had a BSA meeting from 3pm to 5pm! WTF? Why do they have to do this meeting on that day! My family and I planned to take the train to Osaka around 4 to 5pm. Such a shit! I wrote my mum any my sister that I can’t make it in time. They spend the day in Nara and came back around 3:30pm.
The BSA meeting was so tiring. BSA means basically all the standards we need to follow in order to be called “The Ritz Carlton”. The hotel gets checked and evaluated by random people. Usually they come alone, but sometimes they are two or even with there family. Most of the time the hotel can guess who is the BSA auditor. They need to check every outlet; they are booking with a specific company and they are usually asking weird questions. For example, they are telling you that they have a cold, didn’t get enough sleep or arrived late yesterday in the hotel. In order to pass the BSA you need to offer them for example a ginger tea or hot milk with honey against the cold. Furthermore, they could tell the server that they are here for sight-seeing. In this case, they are expecting to get personal recommendations written in a city map. These are just some examples of what the auditor could ask. When knowing who the auditor is, you can make sure to give him extra attention. But last time we didn’t figure out who it is! We didn’t pass all the standards. If it is just a little bit busy and the server didn’t introduce himself or forgot to fold the napkin after he left to the buffet, you fail! In order to train the BSA standards we had this meeting!
The Auditor are in general always English speaker. Therefore, the managers have higher expectations from us interns, than from the usual Japanese staff. We already knew what we have to do, and we try to follow all the steps daily. That’s why the training was so tiring. We just wanted to leave. We practiced roll plays 1000 times. At the end it is all the time the same. All of us had issues with the constant, exaggerated smile. We need to convey energy. Wow! Who is energetic after almost 10 hours of work? But well… it was kind of unnecessary. But we learned some new strategies to engage with the guests better!
At 5pm I walked as fast as possible to my apartment, where my mum and my sister already waited. I haven’t packed anything yet for the two days in Osaka. Therefore, I packed my bag, washed my bedlinen and gave my family all clothes that I didn’t need here anymore. Afterwards we took a taxi to Sanjo station and from there a train to Osaka! It was already so late, and I was so exhausted. Super annoying. On days where I don’t have planned anything, I finish at 2:30 or 3pm. But when I am busy, I have to stay until 5pm! Yay!
We arrived in Osaka and walked approximately 15 minutes to our hotel. We checked in and went to our room. It was already 8pm and we were all hungry. Actually, I planned to go for dinner to Dotonbori to try Osaka’s street food and Okonomiyaki, but that wasn’t possible anymore. Afterwards I wanted to go to Ueda sky tower to see Osaka by night from the top. Some friends from Glion recommended it to me. It was so sad, that it was already so late.
Instead, I searched for a good Okonomiyaki restaurant and I found one in the basement floor of Ueda skytower. I had hope that we could make it after dinner to the viewing deck. We started walking to the skytower and ended up taking a taxi, because it was further than we expected. When we arrived at the Okonomiyaki place, there was still a huge queue in front of it. Great! We definitely weren’t in the best mood! I had no idea that this restaurant is so popular. But we didn’t have another option in this moment and decided to wait, which was absolutely worth it.
The menu was completely in Japanese. Therefore, we had no idea what they are offering. I asked for the recommendation and ordered for all of us. The restaurant was small but looked so unique. You could see the chefs making the Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba right away. I made some pictures and the chef asked me to come behind to cook with him. It was so funny! I made the Yakisoba when he did the Okonomiyaki. The man was just great, as well as the food! I was so glad, that my family loved it as well. Just delicious! At the end we all got a little paper on which the chef wrote us different Japanese messages. So cute and personal.
Our mood was definitely much better when we left the restaurant. Therefore, we decided to check if we had the chance to go to the sky tower. The last entrance was at 10pm. We came at 9:50pm! We just walked through without standing in a queue at all! So lucky! We couldn’t believe how amazing the view from the top was! Incredible! Big cities at night are looking just magical. Even the floor was full of colourful, little lights. It was a great ending for the day.
We came back to the hotel and went immediately to bed. It was a long day for me, and I couldn’t wait to sleep in a nice hotel room, next to my mum and my sister!