This year I turned the big 2-5, quarter of a century, and roughly one third dead. The day started with the opening of my presents that pack-mule-Jon had managed to haul over to Japan for me. I had to wait about three weeks before finally reverting back to a childish self and tore open the little bundles of joy. This was undoubtedly my most fabric laden take to date, but the reality is that clothes are my least favorite thing in the world to buy; if people didn’t give them to me, I would never replace them myself. Aside from a snazzier wardrobe for work, I got some of my essential foodstuffs as well – Pop Tarts, Jell-O, and the like.
The occasion drew no fanfare at school and most people probably had no idea that it was my even birthday, but in the evening I had a dinner invitation with Ryan and his girlfriend Ayumi to look forward to. After meeting at the station around 7, he gave me the the leather bomber jacket he was wearing, a la my ragged high school mainstay, and together we walked to the restaurant. I had never been to the place before, but when we got there I was pleased to see that it was a buffet. Ayumi had reserved the place so we just needed to head over to her table. When we rounded the corner, as the title of this would suggest, about 10 of my friends were there to shout surprise at me. I hadn’t even considered that this could be happening, since simply being taken out by a friend was totally within the realm of feasibility.
I was very pleased to see everyone there for me, and in that moment felt like a very special little boy. After some greetings, they too bestowed upon me some presents. In addition to an assortment of American sodas and a pack of cookies from the Scotsman, I received a one-of-a-kind shirt from Saad that I will indeed treasure for all of my days. On the back he had them put ”Mountain Man From Michigan” and then ”uHN tiSS” three times on the front. Both are jokes, and having ‘uHN tiSS’ on a shirt had long been a dream of mine. Finally, we all devoured some delicious food. In Japan, the idea of a 6 dollar ‘Chinese Food’ buffet that leaves you on the verge of gastrointestinal death does not exist. They definitely cost more here, but being able to go home both stuffed and anything but sick is quite a blessing.
At Amazon. Guy on the right takes it though, given that we had never seen him before.
From there it was off to Amazon where we got a birthday drink or two and chatted a bit. Our group makes it there most weekends, so we have a bit of clout with the bartender Shin. He was kind enough to provide us party poppers & a bottle of champagne, and also led the rousing birthday chorus. We didn’t stick around for too long, it was only a Wednesday night after all. Eventually we made the hike home and carried about our normal lives. Straddled by two Halloween parties, I didn’t really have a chance
to organize an event, but this surprise party fit the bill perfectly. Thanks a lot to everyone who made it happen, I really appreciate it.
Here is the suspenseful arrival, the worst speech ever (I was ambushed), and then celebrations at Amazon.