Tuesday, July 12, 2005

The Sayonara Party

Has it really been a year already? It's all gone so quickly...

My first year on the JET programme is rapidly nearing its end, and the
time for goodbyes is upon us. I won't be leaving just yet (it was a
no-brainer to sign up for another year of Pocky and karaoke), but a
lot of the friends I've made over the past 12 months will be going in
what has quickly become a matter of days rather than weeks and months.

Anyway, last Saturday was the big Sayonara Party for all the JETs who
are saying goodbye to Japan. It's probably the biggest event on the
Fukui JET calendar - buffet dinner for 80+ guests at a fancy
restaurant, followed by a bus ride to a nomihoudai (all-you-can-drink)
club night - and it was organised magnificently by our new Social
Secretaries Tilly and Laura: nice one girls. From what I gather, it
was all quite stressful to get the whole thing together - their hair
was (literally) coming out in clumps by the end of it.

I was expecting a pretty teary affair - lots of long goodbyes and
reminiscing about the past year - but in fact it was just a huge
piss-up. It's Tuesday now, and I'm still having trouble remembering
parts of the party... I remember having a hand towel fight with
Jesse... Pete shouted something like "10 points if you get 'im in the
face!!!", and then all hell broke loose.

That was during the two-hour nomihoudai at Versteck, but then a few of
us who could still stand decided to go on to another club called Lite.
It all gets very hazy from then on... I just about remember going into
the club: Nicky was having trouble walking in her heels, so I hoisted
her over my shoulder, stomped down the steps into the basement, swept
through the door, pointed at the barman with a big grin on my face and
shouted "NAMA ONEGAI!!!". God knows what he thought when he saw a
sweaty red-faced Englishman coming down the stairs with a girl in a
zebra-print dress over his shoulder.

The memories get patchy from then on... I don't even think I made it
to the dance floor... I do remember doing tequila shots with Ruan
though. Which is probably why I woke up in the gutter outside the club
at 3am.

The upshot of it all is that I didn't actually say a proper goodbye to
anyone, but maybe that's for the best. I mean, what's the point of
going through a long, emotional goodbye when you can just get really
drunk and pass out in a drain instead?

Anyway, thanks to everyone who' s been there for me over the past year
- you're all wonderful. Now, please enjoy the pictorial record of the
night displayed below. Yes, that's right, I took a grand total of 2
(count 'em) photographs. Memories I will treasure forever.


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