ザー週内侍 – The Midweek Musketeers

Something that a few friends and I began doing in these final months has been convening in the city for food and fun on Wednesdays or Thursdays.  This isn’t meant to get out of hand, but rather serve as another opportunity for us see each other during a given week.  There are always things to chat about among this core group of friends, and thinking on how difficult and unlikely such opportunities will be in the future fuels this desire.

Throughout our time here, there have been a few establishments staked out and lauded by the foreigner crowd, but by no means does that make them the best in town.  As an ongoing campaign to see a few different places, we have already stumbled upon a couple that should serve the future JET community well.  One in particular is a cheap izakaya with incredible karage chicken.  This has quickly risen towards the top of my favorite places for eat and drank in the city.

John, Myself, Ryan and Hannah.  The fathers of this great tradition

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One of the games we played the other day involved someone proposing a new word, while the others vying to provide the best definition for it.  This turned into a delightfully entertaining activity that spawned many new additions to my lexicon.  If I use one of the following words and you don’t understand, I’ll call you out as a non reader of my blog.  The newest additions to the English language are as follows:

Mousshkar – To spend all day reminding  to do something and yet forget it
Monront – Someone obviously the product of inbreeding, within nobility
Pilk – To travel completely ignorant of the culture, unwilling to learn it
Lern – A synonym of ”fact’, carrying an uneducated nuance to it
Snurkle – A snort laugh in which mucous is forced from the nose
Fenk – The smell of wet towels that have been left for some time
Maole – A stifled wimper, so as to prevent others from hearing
Klitch – To catch a small but sensitive flap of skin somewhere
Brunst – To suffer the consequences of your stubbornness
Merp – To sustain a joke for so long it becomes unfunny
Schlupjee – When you’ve made a mess with food
Tursk – First world problems, a task

Once we have had our fill, we usually migrate over to do some karaoke.  We have a coupon that we bust out at Shidax that saves us 30% off our singing tab.  One of our new rules is that at least for the first few songs one may not queue up a song they’ve done before.  There are some crowd favorites that get played often enough, but experimenting with some other worthwhile choices is great as well.  For anyone who doesn’t know about Japanese karaoke, I apologize, for you have not lived.

On our last evening in Japan, we gathered for just one more of our Midweek sessions.  They knew that this would be the last time for many of us, unless someone else were to carry the torch and keep these good times going.  I really hope that they do.  We gave them a heads up that several of us would be showing so they prepped a large table area for us.  We got going on the drinks, the usual delicious food and of course some quality conversation.  There were about 10 of us there in all, which was twice the usual figure.  There were some kind souls who came out to pay the homage to those leaving which as really appreciated.

Chicken Nanban, my favorite

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I’ll just mention that the drinks usually last only 2 hours but being our last night, the owner seemed unconcerned by how long we might decide to remain there.  There were several points throughout the night where the staff would come on in and join us to talk for a few minutes.  One of the nice memories that the evening yielded were speeches by those leaving and also a few of those not  We were even able to get our hosts to join in on the fun as well.  I wanted to make sure that each of these speeches were preserved for future enjoyment.  As great people who had some really great things to say, I knew especially want to revisit some of these in the future.

All in all, Fujin Raijin served as a wonderful place for us to get our midweek kicks.  I don’t know why it took so long to start doing something like this on a regular basis.  The first two and a half years that I was in Japan had all of the excitement crammed into the weekends, but it took no time at all to appreciate how great seeing friends was at breaking up the workweek slog.  On this last of occasions, the owner of the restaurant had us decorate a board to decorate and pose with so that they could throw the picture on their Facebook page.  This was all fine with us, and I was able to grab a picture for myself.  In the end, we spent close to 4 hours there before making a final stop at Amazon and then heading home.  The next morning was my flight home, and this final Takamatsu outing was perfect.  I’ve gotten to know some pretty cool people.

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