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.