As if the Tokyo Game Show wasn’t eventful enough last weekend, I had to go to my Wednesday school’s enkai when I came back that Sunday. Well, I don’t want to say I had to go, I wanted to go, especially since I missed the undoukai (sports festival). As soon as I got home, I took a shower, changed and headed to the train station where I was meeting some of the staff. I actually ran into the kyoto-sensei (vice principal), which surprised me. It ended up that us and a couple others were meeting with the designated driver of the night. In Japan, there is a zero tolerance policy when it comes to drinking and driving. You can’t have any alcohol in your system if you’re driving. It doesn’t matter if you had a glass or half a glass, if they catch you and you have just a little bit in you, you’re off to jail. My friend told me that one of his previous JETs had gone to an enkai once but decided to sleep in his car due to the zero policy. In the morning he drove home but was stopped by police. He still had some alcohol in his system so he ended up getting arrested, deported, and obviously fired. Crazy, huh?
Anyways, we got finally met our DD for the night and headed towards the restaurant. It ended up being a shabu shabu, which means that you are given a huge pot in a stew to put your uncooked meat on. Once we got the enkai going, I had a blast. It was probably my favorite enkai so far because I am close with the staff (both elementary and junior high) so I felt very comfortable talking with everyone. Also, everyone got pretty smashed. Things started to get hilarious when the staff drunkedly tried to teach me Osakaben to me. In case you forgot, Osakaben means Osakan dialect, which is completely different from standard Japanese. They were teaching me how to say “what the hell” (Nan de ya nen?!) the correct way as well as a bunch of other phrases I already forgot. It was funny because their accent really came out when they were drunk.
The pinnacle of the evening was definitely when the kyoto-sensei busted out the karaoke machine and demanded me to sing a song. I asked which one and the request I got was “Hotel California” by the Eagles. For those who know me well, you would know that I love The Eagles but I fucking hate “Hotel California” because it’s overplayed. However, this was a special exception and I sang to my heart’s content while everyone was clapping and singing along. It was really something else. Then it got even crazier. All the guys started to form a human pyramid and yelled my name. I turn around and see this huge pyramid made out of people, followed by them yelling “Get on the top!” I don’t know how, but I managed to climb on the top and continued to sing, it was awesome. I’ll have to ask for the picture to post it here.
After that, others sang a bunch of Japanese songs. Then, the P.E. (gym) teacher started gathering people and do something I was not aware of at first. Then they asked me to do it. You would lay down next to each other at first and then on his cue, you would all get up together, holding each other’s hand. Clearly I had failed because as soon as I got up, one of the teachers basically told me that I suck and pushed me aside. That’s when I knew he was drunk, haha. I eventually figured out they were trying to emulate a fan opening. I took a bunch of pictures; everyone tried it, including the principals of the schools:
After dinner, we decided to go do some karaoking. Dinner and karaoke is basically the equivalent of dinner and a movie here, they go hand in hand. Unlike most karaoke places I have gone to, this one had a humongous room. We all sang a bunch of songs, and I even sang a couple of Japanese ones. At this point, a lot of people were smashed. People were singing ridiculous songs and some were dancing along:
Eventually it was time to go and I got a ride back to my apartment. I’m glad I went back because it was a lot of fun and I got to know a lot of the staff better. My elementary’s vice principal seemed very happy too; he called me from my junior high later that week and told me that we should karaoke again sometime. It was funny because that was the only reason he called me at that school. I think he likes me quite a bit.
I had Monday off because it was Respect for the Elders Day, a national holiday. I spent most of the day recovering from the busy weekend but I went to this language exchange group Reiko set up in the evening. Basically English and Japanese speakers got together and practiced both languages. I sat next to a couple of cool Japanese girls and one particular JET I’m not fond off. They come off as super awkward and it was painful just to sit next to them for an hour. I think the people in my table were feeling that vibe but we might light of the situation secretly. After I had the chance, I quickly swapped seats and continued to chit chat with random people. It was fun and I made friends with a few Japanese natives so it was worth staying up a bit late for. Finally, the long weekend had ended.
This recent weekend was actually a four day weekend but it was pretty boring as everyone left on a trip. I guess they all can’t be exciting. Things are definitely more eventful and fun compared to back home…I wonder why that is?