Japan just gets more and more fantastic to me as time passes. I kinda feel like I'm out of the honeymoon phase, I'm not oohing and ahhing at everything I see so the initial fascination has worn off. Now I feel like I'm getting to know the underbelly a bit, and meeting lots of people (and hopefully lots more) and absorbing myself in the culture. Although, since I live 40 minutes or so outside Tokyo and not actually in it, I still find myself pretty impressed each time I go to a new area there. The bright lights, the energy, the masses of people....I'm crazy about it. And I still have soooo much to see!
Saturday night was the most fun I've had in awhile, and I sort of want a version of that night to continue a LOT in my remaining time here. I went out with Nathalie again, which I really must say, is so cool and so much fun to hang out with. It's amazing that we met essentially by chance and that we originate from two different continents and yet I kinda feel like we have a lot in common. She has a great accent. Coming from a Japan transplant from DC but transplanted there from Kentucky, I love hearing accents and am always quite fascinated by them. I am told that my Kentucky accent is very slight, but other expats I've met have told me that they hear an inkling of a southern accent in my voice, which I kinda like. Accents are fun, I guess I always rejected developing a southern accent for fear of being lumped into groups of rednecks with such strong KY accents, so I only have a slight tinge of one (that's no insult to my beloved Kentucky, of course!). For example, I tend to say "aye" when I say "I", but that's about all I got.
Anyway, the night was fun. Very fun. We met up with some other gaijin GEOS teachers and went to an izakaya in Shibuya. Nathalie and I tried to catch the remaining dregs of the Samba festival in Asakusa, but unfortunately there were none to be found. So, after some beers at a small izakaya, we went to an all night karaoke place that lets you sing for five hours with unlimited drinks (there's a word for unlimited drinks in Japanese that Nathalie told me, but I can't remember it!) for ¥3,000, which is a damn good deal to me. We sang some Beatles, Bob Dylan, Queen, you name it. And even some Japanese ballads which I of course couldn't sing because I don't read Kana/Kanji, but I enjoyed hearing Rachel and Jason sing them. I put my best David Bowie British accent on to sing Space Oddity, which I'm sure I mucked up. And I sang Dion and the Belmonts' Runaround Sue, and rocked it. I'm glad I didn't get video of me singing this, because then it would taint the image I have of myself as an oldies karaoke GODDESS. I want to keep that delusion intact, please!
Especially since I have a reputation to uphold. You see, I come from a family who really likes to sing and reallllllly likes karaoke. My dad actually owned a karaoke machine when we were growing up and I cannot count the times that my siblings and I sang the golden oldies together with my dad. It makes me a little homesick actually, because my pipes are best utilized when they are sung in harmony with my older sister (who can wail with the best of them) and my father (who had a voice like Elvis), and my mother and younger sister and brother (when he's not scoffing at the idea of singing in public), who have amazing voices as well. I'm insisting on a family karaoke night when I return. Seriously. I miss it.
I did get a video of Nathalie and I singing frantically to Bohemian Rhapsody, which was amazing. Again, I was so impressed with my skills at the time, but after watching the video I realized just how drunk I was and how recording drunk karaoke (at least of MY singing) should be against the law. I even had an embarrassing moment when I decided to choose to sing Devo's Whip It, (why, drunk Cecilia, why?) which was amusing. I was looking for a better Devo song, but for some reason decided to land on the one that has been in a thousand TV commercials and worn out all to hell. Eh, who cares! I'm still a golden god in my head.
Enough about that! My work is pretty fun so far. I have one nightmare class on Mondays, but aside from that, I really like it. I feel so productive at the end of the day and ready for anything. I'm hoping to go to Narita to see the temple and to hit up a couple bars on Sunday with my neighbor Courtney, and maybe do something fun in Tokyo again on Saturday night. Shit, I kinda want to go into Tokyo again on Wednesday night, as I have Thursdays off, but if I can't get anyone to stay out with me I may have to brave it on my own and try to communicate poorly in Japanese to some young and drunk locals. Yes. Life is happening.
Sagoi: drinking, friends, Tokyo, everything.
Warui: seriously, nothing. Except missing my people back home, as usual.