Last sunday I made the trek to Nagoya for Jared's farwell party. It was a very strange trip in some ways, as I suddenly found my role completely reversed.
I met Jared, and a few other people, at Melissa's goodbye party/ Johanna's welcome party back in late September last year. I'd been in Japan for about two weeks at that point. Even though Jared had only been in country for a bout a month more than I, at that point he was still the old hand, and others like Bruce or David who where there had been in Japan for years. I felt very much the newbie, out of my depth and unsure of what exactly was going on.
Well, almost a year later and now both Jared and Johanna have left Sakae school, though to be fair Johanna *is* still in Japan. In the group of teachers on Sunday, I was one of the 'old hands', we had one guy, Nick from Wales, who had been in Japan for a little over a month.
We actually really hit it off, and he may bring his girlfriend up to visit Kanazawa when she comes to Japan in October. I do love guests. Though I suppose I'll have to clean my apt sometime before then.
As far as the actual party goes though, the reservations were made at an Okonomiyaki restaurant located between Fushimi station and Nagoya station. This put it at about a 35 minute walk from Sakae. It was an excellent restaurant, but consider that Sakae is THE center of Nagoya dining and entertainment. Why we had to get 20 people to walk over half an hour to a restaurant is a question that was left unanswered.
After a fine meal of okonomiyaki, yakisoba, and other delicious offerings it was time to head to a bar for continued merriment. Luckily for us there was one nearby, so we didn't have to go tramping all the way BACK to Sakae! That was really a good thing, as I think many people were starting to feel the nomihodai (all you can drink).
The place we ended up at is fairly unique in Japan, if ubiquitous in the rest of the world. It was a real karaoke bar. Yes, when you sing, you sing for everybody in the place. The people at the bar hear you. The darts players hear you. The slots players hear you. Everybody! The whole thing suddenly got even more embarassing than it already was. And to be honest the whole thing was already pretty damn embarassing.
But we had a great time there, and decamped to Joy Joy for a little more Karaoke, but by that time it was really rather late, and Jared was really rather drunk so He, Autumn (another newish teacher) and I took a cab back to their neighborhood. A few short hours of sleep and then I was on my way back to Kanazawa on the Shirasagi #1, the first train, a mere 7:52 in the morning. Ugh.
Well it was a great party, and it was nice to see Jared one last time before he decamps to the states. It was also nice to meet the new Nagoya Guard, and ensure that my legacy will continue!
Also, there will soon be another Hello in the offer, Zach should be back in Japan next week. For those keeping track that was all of June and July, and most of August, a nice solid two and a half months on the road. Phew.