18 August 2008

A last going away party?

Party #8: Japanese friends

When: Monday, August 18th
Where: Japanese 居酒屋 in Bandai
Who: Me, Hiroshi, and Satomi
Backstory: I met Satomi when I first came to Niigata and posted a message on the International Friendship Center board of Niigata about how I was preparing for the Japanese Proficiency test and needed someone to tutor me. We met for about a year (until I started dating Yoko) and she really helped me learn Japanese. Through her, I met Hiroshi, whom I taught English to for a while, and who runs a very stylish hair salon that I sometimes get my haircut at. He is also in a hardcore cover band ('Lunker Killer') that is much, much better than its name. He was at my bachelor party.
Food: Pretty decent bar food
Things learned: I have famously said that I have never met a Japanese person under 30 that I thought I could be friends with. This is an exaggeration of course, but Satomi and Hiroshi are great examples of how cool Japanese folks are in their 30's. It's like the coming out time in life in Japan. To be honest, I don't have many Japanese friends (or people that I am mutually friends with who aren't trying to get something from me or vise-versa), but these are two of my oldest and they are really kind, interesting, thoughtful people that I enjoy being around. I will miss both of them.