Tuesday, March 03, 2009


This weekend my social calendar was filled to the brim. On Saturday morning I had to "perform" at a kindergarten concert - fortunately all I had to do was my regular English lesson and received many claps, hand slaps etc. Then in the evening I was invited to the after-concert dinner. Unfortunately it was not at my son's kindergarten so I really knew none of the people there, but a free meal and a night out with adults is always worth the effort.... or is it? I always find the Japanese way of socialising very difficult. Firstly you are never invited anywhere as a couple - for example I would never be invited to anything related to my husband's work - even to weddings etc. So everyone becomes "single" again. You are generally given a seat based on your position in the hierarchy of things - those of low hierarchy are at the bottom closest to the door and therefore the most available to do the ordering and general running around after everyone. People then gradually move around the place, taking with them some kind of beverage to pour to each other (never pour your own drink in Japan) as a way of saying thank you for your efforts. They always seem to come just as you have stuck a huge piece of chewy meat in your mouth or when your long awaited ice cream arrives and therefore you either talk with your hand over your mouth and try to swallow without gagging or watch as your ice cream slowly melts away into a milk shake. And then of course when the 2 hours is over - no matter how much fun you are having - the party is over and you either all say goodbye or move on to the second party - often karaoke. I opted for the first in the case!
Then on Sunday I went to the movies for the first time in a very long time. Unfortunately no romantic outing, just "High School Musical 3" with the kids instead. I would have to say that this movie is not my ideal entertainment at the best of times (thanks Dad for getting Emily started on it so many years ago....) but when they are all speaking in Japanese and singing in English it gets a little confusing! However the popcorn was good and the 1st of each month is cheap day here so I shouldn't complain too much.
Sorry no photos today!


  1. Here here on the socialising thing. Although one of my students explained to me once that the main event is the nijikai- the first party is just to get everyone drunk enough to have fun at the nijikai. Made sense somehow...

  2. High School Musical 3 in Japanese! Aaaarrgghh! You've taken dedicated parenting to a whole new level!

  3. At the moment the thought of a night out, chewy meat & milkshakes and all, sounds very appealing. I think I may be looking at a good two years at least before that happens.

    Nods of agreement from here too on the socializing. Damn the yakuba for having so many nomikais. As the husband of a gaijinwife hub feels very hard done by at having to turn some of them down!!

  4. thefukases: the nijikai is definately the most "fun" part if you have been drinking. For those sober karaoke etc. is a little more painful though!
    Kim and Lennon: don't you think I should be given "mother of the year" award for my efforts? Although I haven't learnt the songs yet... I guess that is my next challenge!
    gw: don't you love all the nomikais for the yakuba. Tom informed me tonight of another couple this month..... mind you as the kids get older I actually quite enjoy not having to worry so much about cooking for Tom and having a nice quiet night by myself. We often have pancakes or bento as a treat....