Phew! What a busy weekend! I'm trying not to go out to save money, but stuff just came up. Going out twice in a weekend happens sometimes, but three times is rare, plus I added in a trip all the way to Oita first thing Monday morning, dropping in for a chat with Jo and Katy on the way back. No wonder I spent the rest of Monday flat on the sofa playing video games while diligently ignoring the scattered detritus of three days of no tidying up!
Friday night was Mari's birthday party. She was 23. She's a New Zealander with Japanese parents come to experience life in Japan as an ALT. So it was mostly ALTs, all in English and funnily enough, mostly talking about teaching, though Mari and I also compared notes about growing up bilingual in NZ and Japan. We went to the Turkish restaurant. They just started a new chicken kebab. I was so eager to try one that I went the day before, picked up my pita chicken sandwich and promptly rushed off, having forgotten to pay! Even when I went back to pay, they hadn't realized. Well maybe they just thought I was charging them for the five minutes of English menu proofreading I did while waiting for the chicken to grill.
I had the kids with me that night too, Kanji was working and since we already had them lined up to go to Baachan's to stay the night on Saturday, they had to come. They were pretty good, or rather Amy was, Lena was 90% good and Erica about 40%! Nothing got spilled or broken though (and I blame the owner, Sevki, who likes kids and it was HIM who gave her the life-size lamb to play with and the BEACH BALL!).
Saturday was a combination date night with my hubby, and a night out with some of the Keio staff, so half English half Japanese, and I managed to completely avoid the subject of teaching! It helped that the occasion was the 'Japan debut' of the 'band' of one of Keio staff (I say 'band' cos it was actually just him, he left the other half of the band in the US, though another Keio staff member played guitar with him for one song, and his wife, who also works there, sang with him on another song.). He was really good, I would love to hear the full band live!
Dinner out with hubby first was at a adorable little Italian/fusion restaurant/bar tucked behind the station. We did consider going to it during our last date, but it seemed too full and lively and we didn't want to walk in there, skulk our way to the only table left and compete with the drunks for service all night. But at 6pm on Saturday evening, it was nearly empty, so we got a good table, got personally shown the wine selection (all chardonnay, no sav. blanc alas) and specials board by the chef/owner, who goes to one of K's clubs. We had some superb food, great oysters, a squid and broccoli dish that is about ten times as yummy as it sounds, and a cheese board. Well you know I am instantly happy once a restaurant has a cheese board and some chardy.
I wore some fabulous shoes. Spike heeled black suede ankle boots that had me in pain after the first block. I really need to get a handle on the shoe fetish. Luckily though, I just happened to have a pair of jandals stashed in my shiny silver handbag (gotta be prepared, girls!) and changed into them. And it was when I was changing BACK into the killer heels before we arrived at the 'live house' (Japanese for gig venue) that K sneaked a little kiss... more about that later...
There were several bands on that night, and knowing several radio and live music people we knew half the people in the club and had a great time catching up and introducing people. We also got rollicking drunk, if the bottle of wine and two of beer at the restaurant weren't enough. We could have done without the final handles at Garden, I think, but everyone was going there and it was a good chance to actually chat with people without having to scream at them.
The bands were at the Biliken club, which is basically the only live music venue left now in Nakatsu since Tropicoco burned down last year, and Gate closed a little while ago. The only other place is the studio Player, which has a few tables guests can sit at, but is a bit crowded if your fan base is more than, say, ten people. Which leads us to the main topic of conversation on Sunday night...
I slept until midday on Sunday, what a TREAT!! I woke up lots, I just kept reminding myself that I had absolutely nothing to get up for, and drifted back to sleep. Bliss! I picked the kids up at 5:30 for a 6pm outing. This evening was the whole family, family friends, Indian curry and speaking Japanese all night. It was folk music event (picture 4 50-yr olds taking turns to sit in the corner and gently strum Japanese folk favorites from the 70's).
The Indian restaurant is in an old house, so there are two main restaurant sections, and just one small tatami room, but as we had six kids between us, we got the tatami room. Cue loads of curry, naan, beer and wine, and the conundrum of what on earth to do about the lack of decent music venues, and how sad it is that Troppies went, and why he left in the end and all that gossip... and why Gate closed down, and all that gossip.... and could we open a new place, and what kind of food could we have (how about NZ food? someone said, but I said Nah, NZ food is not interesting!), how much a month's rent is and how many gigs/patrons you'd need to cover it and how we could take turns working there... Ah, pipe dreams you say, BUT you never know, these are guys in their 40's, with the business contacts, confidence and energy to pull off something like this. I sure hope they do, I said the FIRST thing you have to do is have a Halloween party!!!
Oh, and that little kiss... We were SEEN and our friends were reporting our little dalliance back to us less than 24 hours later as we sat down to dinner. Damn small town.