Here goes my attempt at a quick summary of what happened in September while I was internet-less. Actually pretty much just parties, since there were a ton of them.
First was a party with my school staff on Sep 8 with our self-study campaign prize money. Our school did a good job in terms of goals and revenues, so the head office gave us a bit of money to spend on whatever we wanted. Free parties are always good. We went to the 月の雫 (Tsuki no Shizuku) in Chiba, which is supposed to be famous for its handmade tofu. Seriously, it’s way good. I’m not talking about tofu as in a “I’m a stupid hippie who doesn’t shower, use electricity, or eat meat,” but closer to “I’m a warrior monk who killed seven people this morning with a travel alarm clock and a Bic.” Or something. But yeah, it’s really good. I like that izakaya a lot because it’s usually pretty quiet and most of the tables have their own little enclosed areas. Helping plan that party I also realized how the enkai courses are probably a good idea if you’re planning a party with more than 5 people, since it usually includes nomihoudai and a ton of food for fairly cheap. (Keep that in the memory bank.) The last time I had gone there it was good too, but we ordered everything a la carte and so it ended up costing a lot. Oops.
The following weekend, on Saturday the 15th, I had my Farewell Party with students as well as a Welcome Party for my replacement, Andrew. The party was at this place called 天狗 (Tengu) in Goi, a large chain of discount-type family restaurant/izakaya. It was OK, but I think the old place we used to go to was better. The food might have been better at Tengu, but the room was a lot more cramped and I didn’t like the way the tables were set up. The party was good, but I was super tired from waking up balls early to go from Chiba to Goi, then working all day. But overall it was a nice party and we had a very decent turnout especially considering it was a 3-day weekend so a lot of people couldn’t make it. It was pretty sweet when right before I left; one of my STP students led the entire party in the Japanese sanbonjime clapping thing. I felt famous. Awesome.
After that during the walk home I had my final and most impressive, if I do say so myself, test of hiding my Japanese with the students. The staff and about 3 students were walking from Tengo to Goi station and two of them were just talking about me hardcore, wondering about “exactly how good Anthony’s Japanese is,” since I guess they’ve heard random rumors and stuff. I guess my predecessor had told some of these students that I can speak Japanese, and also said that I “must get a lot of girls and go to hostess clubs a lot.” That’s gross but also funny – also note that I’ve only talked to my predecessor once since he left last year. Whatever. But I was of course able to completely act like I had no idea what they were saying. No reactions whatsoever as they walked behind me talking about me. Tamayo picked up the assist by saying stuff like “No, no, I think he can only say Hello.” Ha, ha.
The next morning it was time for an early party. I had to wake up before 9AM for a BBQ at Inage Kaigan hosted and planned by Konosuke. Despite it being at a time I would usually be sleeping, it was actually really awesome. Tons of food and drink, a lot of people – it was a good time. The only bad thing was the heat. Even at like 11 or 12 in the afternoon, the sun was completely blazing. I think most people, including me, got pretty sunburnt. After the BBQ ended around 3 or something, a group of us went to karaoke and then dinner, and then just hanging out. I didn’t head home until maybe 10PM, but when I stopped by a conbini to pick up some water, I walked by a mirror and did the walk-back thing and saw how red my face and arms were. I hadn’t noticed at all during the day, but I definitely got roasted. I don’t remember the last time my skin peeled because of sunburn. Maybe never? But oh well.
Went out with my staff on Tuesday night, one of my last days. This was after a full day of trying to tell Andrew everything I knew about classes in between actually teaching. I was tired from just talking so much. My last day was Wednesday the 19th. Before leaving school we had the usual speeches and stuff with the staff, and I got a nice pen and one of those signboard things with messages from everyone. It was very weird to finish at Goi, although I’ll be back there later to teach now and again. Went out that night in Chiba as well.
Sunday the 23rd, after Tokyo Game Show, we had Mikey, Bryan, and Nick all here from their respective JET prefectures (Tochigi, Ibaraki, Hyogo). Went to some izakaya in Chiba that I’d never been to before, across the street from Umaimonya. That was good. Had a pretty big group for karaoke, so we did that all night at Utahiro. It amazes me still how cheap that place is. I was feeling pretty tired and I’m sure I fell asleep for a bit. But it was great to have so many people in one place. And at least I wasn’t the only one to pass out: