Friday, December 02, 2005

The Bounenkai

It’s already December and Christmas is just around the corner, my second freezing cold Winter Christmas.

Christmas is not much of a holiday here. Sure they have the amazing lights, decorations, obligatory WHAM’s “Last Christmas” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” playing non-stop and various Christmas specials, but it’s mainly a day for couples. Over here it’s New Year’s that’s the big family get-together event.

However this year Brendon will be in Japan to spend Christmas with me. YAY!

So December also marks the beginning of bounenkais aka office end-of-year parties. We had ours on tonight at the same Chinese restaurant we went to last year. Really good food and always good fun.

For the Secret Santa I got a kitschy little Christmas tree in a display box which lights up and plays Christmas tunes when you flick a switch. But I love it because I don’t have a Christmas tree in my apartment so it will make up for it, and also it must be out of batteries or something because the melodic tone is awfully out of tune and sounds quite eerie. It’s classic.

I also scored a goodie box of left overs to take home. Woo hoo! No cooking for me tomorrow. It was a really good night to unwind because most of us teachers are busy and stressed with exam and end of term preparations, and with the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) on Sunday, I decided it would be not so wise to head out with some teachers afterwards and continue the merry-making.

There was a quiz, bingo, singing of the school song in a drunken stupor and other sake/beer fuelled happenings. It's quite amusing to see how some of the teachers really are when they've had a little to drink and not in the confines of the staffroom. One of the PE teachers is just so funny. He's quite strict and scary looking but give him some alcohol and he's an absolute hoot! We were sitting on the same table and he would keep topping up my glass and when his bingo numbers didn't get called out he'd "Boo" and jeer. But what had me nearly in tears was when during a speech or announcement, he burst into the room with his pants rolled up to his knees, brandishing a fire extinguisher he found in the restaurant hallway, chuckling and shouting something I couldn't understand. He was quite drunk and would have probably used it too if the other teachers hadn't quickly taken it off him.

Also I bumped into Roman. Hisashiburi! He was at his school’s bounenkai in the next room and I found out that he teaches with the wife of one of my teachers. He’s also taking the JLPT so it was an early night for him too and we both couldn’t make it to Zack’s Thanksgiving potluck dinner. Hope to catch up with you guys soon!


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