As some may have noticed, along the sidebar of my blog I have a small selection of links. One of those leads to Outpostnine.com, a blog that has been kept by Azrael (Jeff) a Kyoto area JET. In it he describes the many funny, and painfully funny, situations that you come across when you are a very tall black man in the middle of Japan. He writes with such humor that I have been known to actually double over in laughter, and I am not the only one. He even got a small blurb printed in Newsweek a few months back! Attached to this blog is a messegeboard service that I post on occasionally, along with hundreds of other people, some of whom live here in Japan.
So one of the other Kyoto JETs (Josh) decided to put together a birthday party for his friend, and made it an Outpostnine get together, with people coming down to Osaka from all over Japan. Eleven people met in Osaka for the party, and so we got to meet Az, eat Mexican food, sing Karaoke, and generally have a great time. The food was great, huge plates of Mexican grub. I got the Enchilada combo and it came with two enchiladas, a taco, a taquito, quacamole, and beans. It was pure heaven.
It was nice to really get to know some of the faces behind the screen names I talk to every day. I was most shocked to see that two of the people who came down were not only women, but middle aged women to boot! I certainly didn't expect to see such a high percentage of women my Mom's age being hardcore internet geeks. Which is not to say they weren't cool, everybody was great. We had many interesting conversations, and Azrael in person was what you would expect. Funny, and a bit chagrined by his growing internet popularity.
The second half of the trip was to the ancient capital of Nara, home to the larget wooden building in the world, as well as other interesting things to see. I'll touch on that tomorrow.
The Man Himself, and another Kyoto area JET.
The group at Karoke. It is too bad we only had an hour, we really got into the swing of things.