Monday, September 11, 2006


Ok, so it's been a full month now since I got here. I now have my first event on the horizon: a whisky (or whiskey if you prefer) tasting event next month which promises to be quite the attraction. Talking around with people, it appears that my venue is known amongst the local JET community for having cool drinking events due to our supple budget and nice grounds. Alcohol-related events (or at least events with alcohol present) are good when dealing with mixed international events since it loosens people up and makes them more willing to actually mingle, which is a big thing for a lot of Japanese people who are normally ultra shy about using English with foreigners.

So moving right along, this past weekend was pretty cool I guess. Every year in Sendai there's a big Jazz Festival, which although quite the misnomer was quite entertaining. It just so happened to be going on this past weekend, Saturday and Sunday. Before all that though I need to tell the whole story, so we'll rewind things a little to Friday.

So Friday evening I get an email from this guy Matt who lives over in Fukushima Prefecture - I'd have to pull out a map, but he said it's west and takes 5 hours by bus. So yeah, he and some friends were coming to Sendai for the afore-mentioned funfest and all the hotels were booked, so he wanted to know if they could stay at my place Saturday night... all 6 of them. Now normally this would be no problem whatsoever since my place is plenty big and I'm such a sweet guy and all, but this particular night it just so happened that I had something planned for the next day which involved me getting up at 5am! I made it work though - I just slept over in my neighbor's place and left my door open so they could stumble in in the middle of the night after an inevitable race for the last train. I went to sleep, but around 3am there arose such a clatter that I had to look out the window to see what was the matter. Sure enough, it was Matt and 3 others being way louder than I'm sure they were aware of on their way up to the 5th floor.

I asked him about it later, and he said that what happened is that when I sent him my address and told him to show it to the cabbie at the station, he assumed that I meant he could take a taxi or a train when what I actually meant was that you have to take the train AND a taxi. So some of the people left on the last train and made it fine, but the other half decided to stay later and got raped with a nice $70+ cab ride from Sendai at 2 in the morning - ouch. I was thinking there was a good chance they wouldn't find the place or that something odd like that would happen, so I guess it's good that they did finally make it in the end.

Ok, so onto Sunday now. After being interrupted in my slumber so rudely before, I wake again at 4:40 and access the situation as I grab my toothbrush and shoes in my apartment. All sound asleep. So Jo and I set off to meet my friend whose father happens to own a boat docked close to my place and goes fishing every week. This week we go with him so he can drop us on this island for a BBQ. The boat was cool and the view was spectacular, but the water was choppy as all get out - my friend and one of her father's friends both got sick, and I wasn't really feeling too hot myself so I just laid down. Surprisingly, it was better when the boat was moving - and of course once we got off. So we spend the morning on this beach on an island about an hour off the coast. The water was nice and clear and it wasn't crowded at all, so it was a great place for a BBQ!

So yeah, got back from all that around 3ish, said goodbye and headed off to Sendai to finally check out the Jazz Festival for myself. Once I got there I ran into Matt and crew at the station and saw them off, then just started walking. I figured I would meet up with people eventually, and I was totally right. At first I just went towards the loudest stage, and I found this pretty cool Earth, Wind, and Fire cover band. They were all pimped out in fro wigs and straight-up flower child gear - definitely a sight to behold. They were actually pretty good and even had dancers, but I just couldn't get over the outfits! So of course I have a few beers (yey legal public drinking!) and eventually run into some familiar faces. Everyone had someone with them that I hadn't met before, so it worked out pretty well. My boss told me when I got here that "nomunication" is an important part of my job - nomu = to drink, so you figure it out. Connections are huge around here, so I gotta get out there and be seen! It started drizzling a little after a while, so after a bunch of people deserted I decided to go to a popular bar that's not too far. More people, more good times. I made it back in time to get picked up before my neighbor went to sleep, so it worked out pretty well.

So now here I am, slightly sunburnt and really tired, at the end of a day's work. The end, kthxbi.

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