Some Nice Japanese Fellas

Had a very fun and interesting experience just now. Aki had gone out this evening to meet an ex work colleague, and a couple of his friends for dinner. I hung around the house, blogging, watching Death Note on TV (more on that when I get a chance), and drinking beer.

Then a phone call, they’re coming back for drinks. Quick panic as my Japanese is not good, and I sense they don’t speak much English (I was wrong).

Any road up, 3 men turn up, drunk as skunks in many bunks (not even sure if that’s a phrase, but they made me drink sake, so who knows), and a most entertaining evening (well, about an hour) ensued. They were all very nice guys, and they kept apologising for intruding on my evening (Japanese put the
English to shame sometimes with their politeness), especially the drunkest one (I’m an English teacher you know), and we happily albeit, confusedly, drunk a bottle or so of sake together. They are all salarymen, although one is a salaryman working in Istanbul, so probably not called that there. And 2 spoke fairly good English, and one spoke a mixture of drunk and Kansai/Kobe ben (dialect), so I didn’t understand any of it.

What surprised me most was, how friendly they were (like 10 times more friendly than if they were American or British or Australian or … I’ll stop there), and also 2 of them were quite happy to kneel on the floor. This, being Japan, shouldn’t really surprise me, but it did somehow.

They had just been to a Vietnamese restaurant and it appears, drunk most of the booze in the joint, but soon left with intentions to go and eat ramen. I think I was invited but wasn’t quite matching their level of drunkeness, so the communication barrier was further inbalanced. Maybe if I’d started drinking when they had, I would have even understood the Kobe dialect speaker (I doubt it however).

The upshot being, they seemed as happy to meet me as I was to meet them, and even happier when I told them how much I liked Japan, and Japanese food and sake. Hopefully will meet them again sometime, when I can drink with them from the start and maybe understand more…

Just scanned this entry again, and forgot to explain the “about an hour” bit. They came, they drank a bottle of sake, they left. Like a smiling, indecipherable whirlwind (I promised Ryo I would make a Japanese translation of this blog, but I think that might be a bit tricky).
Not that I mean they were rude in any way (drinking a bottle of sake and leaving), I was hoping to open a further bottle for them, but apparently it’s the Japanese polite way (Aki has to be up v. early for work tomorrow, and they were interrupting and intruding on my (our) evening).
None of this hang around till all the booze is drunk that I’m used to back in London.
Still, a bit too quick I thought. Left dazed and confused, so drank more sake. (Who needs personal pronouns and particles)

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