Sunday, December 5, 2010

In the City

I had been waiting since August to rid myself of the decrepit pieces of carpet that were left festering in my spare room. It seemed like December would never arrive back at that time because December meant big trash day. This is the day everyone unload what they have been hording for the past 6 months and couldn't get rid of sooner. I went down to the drop off point on Saturday quite happy knowing I no longer would be the keeper of the carpets. When I arrived nobody had left any trash. I thought that maybe they picked up what people had already left. I sat for several minutes wondering what the best course of action was. I could leave my stuff and run the risk of doing things completely wrong or gamble and come back the following day hoping I could get rid of my junk. I opted for the latter because I didn't want to be the fool who didn't know garbage day rules. Sure enough if paid off and on Sunday I disposed of the carpet and futons that made me cringe. The best part is the awesome leather chair I scored out of the junk. I almost took a small piano but the risk of it not working was too high for the size. I know have a great chair for my living room. I'm already looking forward to the next trash day in six months.

On Saturday after not being able to drop of my garbage I headed down towards the city to meet some people for a creativity fest. An ALT had a smorgasbord of craft supplies and other crafty inherent items available to making anything the heart desired. Unfortunately as I showed up the five people there were just getting ready to go into Kochi City. They tried to contact me but seeing as I'm without a cellphone, no dice. It worked out for the best and after some flow charts and calculation on who had to ride with who, we descended into the city. George rode with me in my car and we covered many a topics ranging from guitar and electronic music to the speed of technology spiraling us out of control. It worked out for the best because he ended up graciously giving me some new strings for my guitar after we stopped at his place. I broke mine this past week and had been looking to get new ones. I actually have met George before back in August but this was the first time meeting since then.

Everyone ended up at Hirome the local drinking hole. We have a midyear conference for all ALTs this week and a former ALT from Kochi who now works for the program in Tokyo is speaking. It also happened to be his birthday so a handful of individuals were celebrating. He is into all sorts of hiking and is a trove of information on some regions in the Japanese Alps. I refrained from drinking any alcohol because I had to drive home. This is despite the fact George offered me his place to crash if I wanted to have a beer. I felt a cold coming on in my throat so the appeal of having even a sip of alcohol was zero. The massive amounts of second hand smoke didn't give me much help either. I had great conversation with many a people. Somehow I ended up singing Disney songs and talking about ocean currents on the southern side of Kochi. We maxed out our time at Hirome which closes at 11:00pm. Several of us hauled our bodies to a bar called stylish. Supposedly it is reputed as the foreigner bar but it's more likely people go their because drinks are cheap. I wasn't drinking so I couldn't care much anyway.

After having many a delightful yelling conversations over the DJ playing music, the people we were with slowly drifted away into the night and peaceful slumbers. I stayed on longer with George and another guy and his girlfriend. Some other foreigners had been in the bar earlier and made a grand re-entrance back in at about 2am. One guy went to the dance floor with his sweatshirt tied around his waste. Okay wait a second. What era are we in and who in their right mind ties a sweatshirt around their waste while dancing? Leave it on the chair for crying out loud. Another guy was trying way too hard to talk to a table of Japanese girls. They just would not give him the time of day. At some point he pointed over to our sublime location and George declared something in this paraphrased nature, "Well that's it! We have to show this tool shed up." In George's questionable humor and my coherent state we boldly marched over to the girls and said hello. It's as if our inexplicable charm and character instantly pulled the girls towards us like magnets. In a matter of seconds we were playing card games and learning the names of the girls who that lame guy had exhausted himself over. Unfortunately as George tried to explain an American card game in his fuzzy state the cheetah hat girl relinquished her smile into eyes that were filled with unspeakable horror. Had this girl been too friendly to George and regretted it? We may never know. I had a great thing going with black hat girl and I could have sworn she was going to hand her number over to me with the way she was talking. I caught her looking at me from across the room earlier and tried to hide when I saw her. Alas, as they departed we were back to just George and I. I grasped at the opportunity to see them again as I ran outside to ask for a phone number. Such things I have hardly ever done in my life, let alone to Japanese girls. But the only response that came was we will meet you again at this place which in other words means more like never.

Marching back from the bar listening to the great color of George's conversation and his raving about smoke flavored string cheese, the night was getting ready to greet the morning once again. If there is anything we learned from this night it is that when you don't have a cell phone you can never make excuses for not purchasing something when you have that extra 3000 yen a month.

And so the Saturday and Sunday gone by, another weekend ended in Kochi.

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