What a busy week it was! Just the way I like it. On Thursday and Friday, we had the mid-year seminar in the city, which was a nice change of scenery from school, and it was good to see everyone in the same place, but it was a bit yawnsome. Spent Thursday night at Dave's, eating Italian food, and watching some film called 'Sahara', which is a Boys Own Adventure, brought into the 21st Century. Very watchable fluff.
Saturday afternoon was spent mostly at the Woody Rest, talking to owners Setsuko and Nobu, and in the Marunaka, shopping for Burns. It's a big job, getting ready to throw a party for 45 people, so I enlisted the help of Dave and his car, and I simply couldn't have done it without that help!
Everything was finally ready, and I had wrestled the haggis from it's tin, all ready to zap in the 'wave, but NO-ONE was there! I had about eight of my expected 45 revellers at 6.30pm, half an hour after the party was scheduled to start. Eek. By 7.30, most people had arrived, so we FINALLY got the show on the road.
As is tradition, we kicked of proceedings with a rendition of 'Address to a Haggis' by Burns. I am the only Scot in the ken this year, and I didn't much relish the thought of having to hack my way through eight stanzas of Broad Scots on my own. So Chris and Dave (American and Australian repectively), two mates with a healthy dose of Scottishness coarsing through their veins, stepped up to the challenge, and we read the poem between us. The boys' effort was great, and I think it may possibly have been the best reading of the poem in my time here.
After that, it was down to eating (excellent food, hardly any sushi or deli food in sight!), and sharing more poems, and songs. Highlights included Katie doing the opener to Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' with a torch under her chin, Joe in his Utilikilt doing some horribly verbose nonsense he found on the net (and hamming it up to perfection), Dan doing 'Yellow Submarine' in Spanish, Nate doing 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock' in it's entirety, Dave's funny, smarmy definitive limericks, and all the Miyoshi-gunners doing another round of '500 Miles' a la the Xmas Carol Tour. There wasn't much Burns going round (maybe another one or two after our Haggis effort), but that was ok, as Burns is pretty hard to understand, and hard to read as well.
The haggis itself went down immensly well. People actually really liked the stuff, and my worries of having to throw most of it away went unfounded. I don't think the tradition of eating it with Ritz crackers will catch on, but I think I've done well to promote Scotland's national dish in the foreign market! :)
It was a pretty early night for me: I'd had a long day, the beer was affecting me quite fast, and since I had to be the first up the following morning, I called it a night around midnight. The party went on til 5am, I'm told.
Everything was cleared up on Sunday without much hassle, and then people wound their way to the onsen to soak away hangovers. I was told from some folks that it was the best JET event they'd ever been to, so that made me happy. Personally, I think I hit a peak with it last year. It went perfectly last year, and had very definable stages of eating, poetry, drinking, then bed. This year, it was sort of jumbled up, and it was certainly more drunken than it's been before, but that's not neccesarily a bad thing. The main thing was that people had fun, and they certainly seemed to.
Sunday was beginning to look anticlimatic, which I was dreading, but a few emails saw me eating lunch in a nice restaurant with Nate and a very sleepy Joe. Joe and I then drove to his place (going to Iya was NOT in the plan this weekend, but however...) curled up under the kotatsu, ate a lot of chocolate, watched a lot of Azumanga ("Nani......... kore?"), and slept a little. Joined by Nate a few hours later, we played a geeky board game of some sort, before Joe gallantly drove me home, a round trip of about 2 and a bit hours for him.
So here we are at Monday again, and I have things to do. Have a good week, hope you are all well!