Well, Saturday was also the night of a gathering in my honor. 8 friends were able to come out to my apartment to my neck of the woods for a good time.
It took some logistics on my end to make it all happen, since I had to provide rides to people from the station to my house and it was a bit surprising how well it all worked out.
Once everyone was there, I had to duck out for about an hour to go to drum practice (more on this in another update). Coming back, two of the people there offered to give me and everyone a ride to the Onsen, or hot springs where you go to relax in the hot water. There is a rather famous onsen in my town, so it was good for everyone to get out there. This was a fantastic time. We had to hide the fact that a few of the people had tattoos, since they are rather taboo in these sorts of places. Tattoos in Japan have a history of association with crime and while getting a tattoo isn’t a big deal here it may bar you from onsens and participation in some festivals. There is of course a girls and guys side. They used to all be co-ed, but the western world had to come in with their interpretation of ethics and morality and push for what is ‘right’. There are some that exist, but not many.
While here, we were able to talk with a number of Japanese people which was fun. There was a group of about 6 guys that came in after work. The foreigners and the Japanese would all work as teams to ask and understand questions. It made for an interesting time. People are always so surprised when they ask where we come from and the answer includes America, Canada, Ireland, England, and New Zealand. Surprise reaches the next level when we mention that we are currently living in Takamatsu.
When we were leaving, I didn’t feel like making another trip to get people, so I proposed fitting everyone in there. This was amazing and no one could believe that we succeeded, as I have a very small car. The bumper was running about 2 inches off of the ground from all of the weight and the handling was also very different. Basically, the people in the car weighed about as much as the car itself.
Here is a picture from the back, doesn’t include myself or one other person who later got in. I also reposted the picture of my car for reference, since the group shot makes it look like a big space.
When we got home, we just started hanging out, it was a lot of fun. For my birthday, they gave me a nice bottle of scotch, and a ton of cookies. Expecting nothing, I deemed this very nice of them. We played some games (Circle, and then later Twister). We also had plenty of just hang out time and also some use from my bartender friend that I bought at a flea market which made for some laughs. Here is a video of me showing her off.
A pic of the scene
Eventually we all did the sleep thing. From there I brought them to the station again and it was over. The rest of my birthday will be spent relaxing, catching up on the blog, and then heading to Ryan’s apartment for dinner and Rocky 2. We both have no school tomorrow so life is good.