Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The land of the individually shrink-wrapped carrot in extra-early snowfall shock!
Woke up with a killer hangover, after the school Xmas Party & Karaoke Sesh (more below), to find that the streets of Musashi-Shinjo had turned white. Apparently, it was record-breaking stuff for December - read more here! For the first time since I've been in Japan, the trains were running late. Unfortunately, by late-afternoon it had turned into grey, mushy slush, and has now all gone. Still, it gave me the opportunity to teach my students useful words like 'slippery' and 'slushy' and 'snowball fight'. And at my Japanese class (only the second; I started last week) I learned how to say, "I like looking at snow but I don't like walking in it.": Yuki o miruno wa suki desu demo aruko no wa suki dewa arimasen. Yuki is snow. By the way, the pictures above are of our apartment block and the allotments out front. It's practically countryside round 'ere. It's so cold in Tokyo right now - 2° C yesterday, about 7° today. Though my cousin Martin lives in Chicago and it's 2° F there...

So . . . the Karaoke Party. As always, it was enormous fun. Personal highlights included a rousing version of 'Wannabe', my usual 'Hound Dog' and a duet of 'Go West' with Paul, with me doing the low bits. Larae did his usual perfect rendition of 'Ma Cherie Amour' and Scotto-san dressed as Santa-san, getting mobbed by a bunch of Japanese teens on his way out: he had men kissing him and trying to hold his hand. However, the b*st*rds who run the izakaya where we went chucked us out at ten. We'd hired the room from 8 o'clock, with an all-you-can-drink-and-eat-for-3000-yen deal. We didn't realise, however, that you had to finish your drinks by ten. So the staff came and literally wrestled the still-full glasses of beer from our hands. They weren't happy. Chris, who speaks Japanese, asked them if they'd heard the Japanese proverb about the customer being God. They were even less happy after that. So we had to go to another place where we drank even more beer, at even more expense, before heading home with a very inebriated Santa Claus, singing 'We Wish You A Merry Christmas' to our fellow passengers as we headed home.