Happy Halloween

Monday, October 30, 2006

I spent Saturday at Day 2 of the Culture festival. It was much more enjoyable the second day. Many more people showed up and the students put on a better display since there were more people to watch. I saw people from all over the place. I told Kae and she came out for a little while. After that Adam and his girlfriend Casandra came to take a look too. I saw crazy outfits of "normal" people who just wanted to be fashionable (the 80's are back!!!...NOT).

Finally, I saw a bunch of my kids from Odochi. Talk about a shock! I would be walking by a bunch of my kids and they would say hello and then I would stop dead in my tracks...wait....are you....do I...where am I?! It totally threw me off to see these kids outside of school and out of their uniforms! I started second guessing everything. Where do I know this person from, what is my relationship with them. Are they good or annoying?! I got a few pictures of the them too. They were either all bad kids or girls ;)

Also, Kae totally hooked me up! We were sitting down to lunch when she looks over at these guys that were sitting next to us and just begins a conversation that starts with one of those "OOOOOOH! So and so! How aaaaare you?!" So I assumed she knew them ;)

It turns out that the two guys that we were sitting next to were Sou's friends from high school. They had a pleasant conversation of which I zoned out of (lot's of tosa-ben/dialect) and then when I came back into it, she was inviting me to hang out with the guys to do Karaoke. SWEET! She totally hooked me up with these guys! I exchanged numbers and I don't plan to hear from them again unless I bug Kae about it which I think I should (^_^)v

After that I went home and took a quick nap before heading out into the city. The Halloween party started at midnight which was a problem since my last train leaves at 10:30 but I wasn't about to miss it on a technicality. I got in around 7 thinking that there might be a pre-party but I was wrong. Instead I hung out, got dinner and looked for some interesting people to start a conversation with (gaijin of course) I found a few and eventually Adam and Casandra joined me. We shared drinks and sat around having interesting conversation when a little girl struck up a conversation with us.

Only children and old people have the guts to strike up a conversation with strangers. Pshhhh!

This girl was named Karen (Japanese name) and she was 6 years old. Her English was fantastic as well. I guess her parents liked to teach her certain words because she had a great vocabulary. She knew all the names of body parts and different things around the area like light, table, chair, etc. Her parents started talking to use as well and then a couple of college guys who were sitting next to them also joined in. The college guys were interesting because one in particular started hitting on Casandra who doesn't know any Japanese. He stopped once he found out that she was the one dating Adam and not me. The two westerners are always assumed to be together. Ahhhhh Adam is killing my groove!!!

Anyway, the guys were quite pink in the face from probably only one beer but were eager to talk. The one guy told us that he was studying to be an English teacher. Poor guy couldn't hold a conversation unless it was in Japanese! HA! And that's the way that things are here. He's probably been studying English nonstop since middle school but he can't speak it. Why is that? I really don't get it. I understand that some kids just don't care but if you're around it so much, how is it that they know nothing?!

Once that was over, we waited around until 11:30 when the doors opened. There were probably 200 people and half of them were gaijin. It was amazing, I didn't know there were so many of us! But it is a western holiday after all. Of those gaijin, about half of them came to the party already smashed. I on the other hand, had only one drink the entire party (and a beer before that) and I went home feeling just fine. That is a good time my friends.

There was dancing and costumes and contests and celebration! Ikuo and Sayuri came as well but weren't dressed up. They said that it was cheaper to spend the extra $5 on the entrance fee than it was to go out and buy a costume. I have to agree but wearing a costume is way more fun and totally worth it!!!

I was planning to either stay at the Internet cafe until 5am (which I didn't really want to do) or share a taxi with Adam and Casandra which would have come out to about $17. Instead, Ikuo offered to drive me home and Adam and Casandra stayed in the city until morning. It's their type of thing, not mine :)

I woke up late the next morning (didn't go to bed until 3ish) and got a very slow start to the day. The dishes were still piled in the sink from when I made fish for Adam and Casandra (how long ago was that anyway?) and I had to make an American Style salad for a picnic I was going to!

I ended up not having time to do anything but make the croutons and salad (croutons really really don't take a lot of time) before Ikuo arrived to pick me up. We met up with Sayuri and Fumi (very fast talking wonderful person) and headed of to the Kasturahama park. It is dedicated to the Japanese hero Sakamoto Ryoma who brought English to Japan. Yeah!!

The beach was...beautiful in it's own way. It was a no swimming beach because the waves are so strong and apparently it just drops off after three steps. "Ichi, ni, san, DON!" Don, being the sound it makes when you fall in. The sand was more like little stones and not like the ones on the east coast of Florida. Those are more like broken shells that stick to you and never come off. These were tiny tiny stones.

We hiked up part of a short cliff and got to see the view which wasn't all that great but the area was really beautiful in it's own way. I really liked it.

On a different note, the entire time I kept wondering why these people wanted to hang out with me. I was convinced before that it had something to do with Amway but they never once brought it up (to me, they talked about it a little among themselves) But now, I'm not so sure.

They took the time to invite me out specially to be there because I had never been there before and they were patient as I tried my best to speak Japanese. I just feel like this relationship is only benefiting me! I love the company and I love hanging out with them but I can't imagine how I'm interesting to these people or why they would want to go out of their way to help me. I love it all the same.

At one point, I had zoned out and when I came to, Fumi was asking if we had all gone to the Halloween party together. I chimed in and said yes we did. She was surprised that I understood because I usually don't but Ikuo informed her that I really didn't understand I was just saying yes. I always say yes even when I don't understand and it's only when he asks "really?" that I say "maybe".


Ikuo: FasttalkingJapanesecan'tunderstandwhathe'ssaying. Ok?
Ikuo: Good! MorefasttalkingJapanesethatIcan'tunderstand. Ok?
Nina: Yes! (stop talking, I really don't get it!)
Ikuo: ...Really?
Nina: ummmm, maybe :) (no I don't get any of it)

So he's now convinced that I don't understand anything! I promptly corrected his error by proving that I did in fact understand what Fumi was talking about and I also understood what he was saying as well! So there HA!

Later when he was driving me to his home (it is Sunday night after all) I told him that I really really like hanging out with his friends. He was a little surprised I think. He probably thinks that I don't like them because I can't really talk them and I usually just listen or zone out. I'm glad I got to tell him though. I do really like them and I would like to hang out more. So he and I made some loose plans to see a special waterfall in Odochi and check out the changing leaves.

I'm still movin' up!

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