Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Engagement Party

The Kudos.

Sunday was a brilliant day and everything turned out better than I'd expected. The sun came out in spring fashion at around noon which meant that folks could head outside.

Aki wearing her kimono, and a very geisha-like pose.

The party wasn't as tense as I thought it would be, and there was plenty of time for people to eat and drink without being bored to death by speeches and formalities. In fact, the speeches were really good. Nobody went on for too long and an ex-student of mine, who is also very good friends with Akis mum, read out a very thoughtful speech in both Japanese and English. I didn't make a mess of my speech, but the one that really hit people the hardest was from Akis friend Maki. I didn't understand a word of it but it had me and many others in tears.

Back to Akis' parents house and Akis brother quickly whips out the sake. The men all sit down and relax while the women run around preparing food. Ah, I could get used to this. Then, as if it were a sign of some sort, Aki received a special delivery in the mail. It was the visa that she needed for us to get married in the UK this year. We weren't sure if she would get it without an interview in Tokyo, so that was a very big thing for us as well. We went out at around six o'clock to meet Akis friends and spent the next two hours drinking beer and eating raw liver soaked in sesame dressing. Something you've got to try before you judge it. Karaoke until midnight then back home to bed. Pestered out of bed by two very naughty little children at nine o'clock and spent the whole morning watching cartoons with the sun in our faces.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Farewell frenzy (クレージな送別会)

Last saturday there was a leaving party for four guys who regularly frequent the Rat Walls climbing gym. Fujimoto, who is going back to Hokkaido after completing his degree here at the University of Hirosaki; Rider, whose real name I've never learned, is heading down to Yokohama to start a new job; Cris, who by now is probably taking off from Narita heading back to Australia, and me, who will be heading back to blighty in the beginning of April.

At the second place things started getting a bit crazy. After we all got sat down Hanada san, for some reason, whipped his shirt off and started egging everybody else on to do the same. Shirts came off and arm wrestling was the favourite sport for most that night. Followed by karaoke and Tequila shots.

Cris and his aura.

Hikaru, unable to find the bathroom.

Cris again, perhaps feeling a little out of shape next to the mighty Rider.

Bancho and I ripping it up.

Me, Kaicho and Cris, lamenting the loss of good friends.

Finally a shot of Hanada san, who orchestrated most of the frenzy that night.

This Sunday is mine and Aki's big engagement party. I pick up the tux tomorrow morning and I'll be spending most of tomorrow night trying to master the relatively long and quite emotional speech that I have to make in Japanese. So, there will be a lot of photos from that event coming up soon on this page, hopefully I'll get time to update before I leave for home.


Friday, March 09, 2007

Chillin with my girl

Sitting down to watch TV with the missus. We've both had seperate complaints so the masks are just a simple precaution, Japan style.

A quick shot that I took on my way out to pick up Aki the other day.

Three weeks left and it's starting to get wierd. Looking forfward to seeing my new niece though.