Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Canada Day from Japan.

This is my very first Canada Day in a foreign land. And what a foreign land it is.

I enjoy how Google knows I'm Canadian but in Japan, and so chooses this layout for me on my work computer. Also, apparently you can't say "I'm Feeling Lucky" in Nihongo. True story, I've only ever heard ラッキー (rakkii).

So I have a pretty busy weekend planned.

Tonight is Canada Day, so obviously all the Canadians (and friends/honorary Canadians) in the vicinity are gathering for a bit of a part-ay/nomikai. Tonight we're going all out though, have a private room at a Shabushabu place. You see, Shabushabu (a Nipponese apparently onomatopoeic dish) is Shinto-Jesus' answer to the whole lack of meat in many Japanese dishes. Its pretty much exactly Chinese hot-pot, but not nearly as spicey. And its all-you-can-eat, or tabehodai (most large food!). According to their website, this place has unlimited beef, pork, pork, assorted vegetables, rice and ramen. Yes, they said pork twice. Along with being tabehodai, this place is also nomihodai (most large drink!), meaning all-you-can-drink. This is going to be a bad Thursday night/Friday morning. In addition, when I called and made the reservation for our party, we had a fascinating little conversation like this:

Japanaman: "For how many please?"
Bureiku: "Around 7, but it might be more or less, is that okay?"
Japanaman: "Cancellation fee, so easier if more than less."
Bureiku: "Okay, 6 people then."
Japanaman: "How many boys and girls?"
Bureiku: "No idea. Maybe 3 and 3? Does this really matter?"
Japanaman: "As long as you're not all massive male sumo wrestlers, I think its okay."
Bureiku: "LOLZ. We're all gaijin."
Japanaman: "OMGZ. DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM EATING PORK FOR RELIGIOUS REASONS?" [This guy was seriously concerned, he likes his pork.]
Bureiku: "Nope. Bring on the bacon."
Japanaman: "I don't speak English."
Bureiku: "Thats okay." [Note, this entire conversation, except for "Bring on the bacon", has been in Japanese]
Japanaman: "I speak some Spanish though."
Bureiku: "¡Hasta la vista, baby. That reservation is for Bureiku. Thank you very much."

Reservations in Japan are always so complicated. But this is a new record, three different languages!

Anyway, then Friday my ambitious goal is simply to remain awake all day, and I know thats going to be a tough one after Thursday night.

Saturday I have tentative plans to go five-course-fugu-ing and look death in the face by eating an entire blowfish (other than the poisonous parts). That 1-in-20 pieces is fatal is bullshit, its pretty safe as long as you have a good chef and you eat it while its still moving. Yummm. Its expensive though, so this is a one time thing.

Sunday a new buddy of mine from the Happy Hour for Communication in English (HHCE) at work is taking me to Jiyugaoka in Tokyo to chill with some of his gaijin friends at Tokyo Tech and go to a Spanish restaurant. Followed by an Irish Pub. I'm hoping for some rowdy Irishmen.

Wow, good thing yesterday was pay day. Where has all my money gone?

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