Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Settling In - Not Settling Down

I feel like I should write something. I’ve had this feeling for several days now, but circumstances have conspired against me to prevent words being put on paper. As a former wannabe journalist and one-time author this is not a new phenomenon, so as I sit here and forego the opportunity to watch TV to instead write to you my dear reader…I hope you bloody appreciate it.

But what to write, what to write? Well, I could tell you about my first weekend in Japan. I’ve not said much about that yet have I? Truth be told there isn’t much to tell. On the Friday I went to the town of Oyama, which is a 25 minute train journey that I negotiated all by myself, met Darrell and had a few drinks. We went to a restaurant that initially turned us away at the door because they were full, only for a waitress to chase us down the street to tell us two people were about to leave and we could take their place, if of course we still wanted to. That wouldn’t happen in London now would it?
Japanese Restaurant - bring your own chair legs
A few beers, whiskies and wines later and the night came to an end. Nothing major to recount, although we did find a telephone that looked a bit like a face, which was a highlight. The rest of the weekend was spent living what can best be described as the life of a gay couple. We went grocery shopping together. Took some (not very) scenic drives. Cooked each other breakfast and even made my bed together. It was pretty strange...but I can confirm that we at least slept in different rooms. Just like the Royal family.

Not long after that was the Sake night with work. That was pretty unusual. Straight from the office and into “Nikkoken” the restaurant over the road where my boss eats, I think, every single meal. It’s good stuff too, and on this particular occasion we feasted on Sushi (did you know that the word ‘Sushi’ actually means rice with vinegar? Bet you didn’t – you thought it was fish related didn’t you? Heathen.), but before we even had a chance to pick up the chop sticks we needed to “Kampai” everyone.

Now I thought Kampai was just Japanese for “Cheers”, which for the most part it is, but the literal meaning is ‘Dry Glass’ or so I was told. So as there were eight of us, and all needed to be “Kampai’d” before we could even sit down, we were all eight shots of Sake down before 6:45pm. Needless to say it went downhill from there. My boss ended the evening with his tie around his head, and one of my development officers literally fell off his chair before running to the bathroom. They enjoy their booze over here; that much I have discovered. Darrell did warn me that “no good can ever come from drinking Sake” and given how I felt the next day he was probably right.

Man down...but worse was yet to come
During that week I’d had my boss over from the ICC office in Australia which was very useful in terms of work and learning more about what’s expected of me over here. The week after a chap came over from Cricket Australia and basically did my job for me for a week, so that was helpful too in that now I know how to actually do it…kind of.

The weekend I had to myself and concentrated on some running (more on that in a separate post), making the flat look better and catching up with a few folks on Skype. If you don’t have an account yet, get one, otherwise your chances of talking to me are slim (which of course, you might be thankful for). alan.curr is the account name and the picture is of me in front of K2. Don’t be fooled though, it’s not the one that says I’m in Japan. That’s my work account, for when I have my professional trousers on. When I talk on Skype you’ll be lucky if I have any trousers on at all.

Those of you with more than a passing interest in cricket may be aware of the politics going on right now. Essentially three countries are trying to take over the world game, and what this might mean for me is anyone's guess. For now I’m trying not to think about it*, but rest assured I’ll update you as and when I learn more.  

That’ll probably do for now, I’ll finish by telling you that this last weekend I went to Tokyo for the first time in two years, got roaringly drunk and slept in an office somewhere near Shinjuku. Woke up in the morning completely freaked out as I had no idea where I was or how I got there, let alone how to get out, so I did what any sensible person would do in such a situation, and went back to sleep. Like I said, they enjoy their booze in these parts, so it seems only right I do the same from time to time.

Until next time....Mahanimashte.

*When I say trying not to think about it, I do of course mean reading every article on every website I can find - this one being perhaps the most interesting.

No comments:

Post a Comment