Monday, December 29, 2003
Go gaijin, it's your tanjobi, go gaijin, it's your tanjobi
So I celebrated my first birthday outside the United States and it was pretty nice. Saturday happened to be the last day of work for the New Year holiday break, so I'm free of English language teaching slavery (er, work) until January 5th. After I got off work on Saturday went with my friend Stretch to meet up with Selman and some other friends at this reggae joint in Osaka which was playing some great reggae music. The only problem: 3,000 yen ($30) cover charge! What the hell... the 'free drink' that came with it annoyed me too... a cheap can of MILLER lite beer. Yuck. A couple of friends bought me burfdey drink-age though, so I guess it was OK.
Sunday, the actual day of my birthday, was much more laidback, and being so, more enjoyable for me. In the afternoon I met with Amy Nishimura, AKA "Amy Nish" who's also here in Japan on an English language teaching adventure, except with a different company and out near the city of Nara, which is about an hour and 45 minutes away from Kobe. We ended up just catching up over a cup of coffee at $tarbucks in the bottom floor of Kobe Kokusai which is in Sannomiya (downtown Kobe).
Night time, my friends took me to a nice Indian place for an impromptu birthday dinner - the original plan to have nabe got scrapped due to complications with lack of a burner. No complaints from me, though... after large helpings of garlic nan, seafood curry, rice, and tandoori chicken, my belly had no complaints. The meal wasn't very cheap, but the group I ate with insisted on me not paying... a bit humbling to me as I contemplate that for all my friends here in Japan, I've only known them for less than 3 months.
The crew then wanted to go bowling, but the lanes were way too crowded (one hour wait), so instead... sticker pics. How ritualistic Japanese, eh? Again, no complaint from me... they wrote "happy birthday Garrett" on the pictures. Yay!
Bereft of bowl-age, we ended up back at Stretch's/Martin's pad in Sannomiya playing a wacky game that works like Jenga in reverse - stacking up wooden chips instead of removing rectangular blocks... riiiiight. Very simple game, but we seemed to have fun with it nonetheless. Some human beings, faced with boredom, have the special ability to make even the mundane hilarious.
Around 11:30pm, it was off to the favorite hip-hop spot, PIZ, to watch a special event:
Good stuff... couldn't understand all the Japanese the emcees were spitting, but the winner did drop some English in his rhymes that was funny.
It's been an eventful couple of days... I can' believe I'm moving out tomorrow from the 'ol Myohouji to Kawanishi.
Mmmm, my hidden ambition... a book deal from blogging! Ah... to be published.
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