Sunday, May 21, 2006

A mere matter of days...

...until the end of Scott's tenure here in Utsunomiya. I think this has kind of snuck up on everyone, even though we've known for six months that he was leaving in May. The lucky guy has not only attended his final Friday afternoon meeting, but he has taught his last Saturday! Oh how I envy him!

Saturday evening after class, we headed to the Lion's Head for the traditional pre-farewell party drink before heading over to Esprit, a dinner-theater\karaoke cross restaurant. It's got a sunken room with about 20? tables and a stage, and was a pretty good venue for this party, due to the necessary speeches and activities. We had a great turnout, about 50 people at the party and 20ish for the 2nd party. Here's our dear Scotto in full mingling action.

Here are our two sound Scandino-viking scamps on stage doing the speech thing.

Scott was presented with some lovely gifts from us staff and some of the students, and I think he may need to rethink his single checked-in piece of luggage policy. The man travels light, only one backpack and a carry-on, but I think gifts may have pushed him over.

After dinner, we headed over into a different section of the same restaurant into their karaoke section, and actually ended up in the same room as we did after my welcome party a year ago!
Here's the man of the hour belting out Battery by Metalica with Keizo, quite an impressive display. Keizo also later took on Eminem's Lose Yourself, a song I as a native speaker failed to keep up with. Kudos to Keizo.

Scott here is wearing on of his gifts. Kumiko bought this robe in Kyoto, and the kanji on it says something along the lines of choosing your group for yourself. Quite lovely.

Of course as the evening progressed, things got a little wild in the old karaoke box with the ladies dancing on the benches and everyone having a lovely time. Karaoke is enjoyable, but not my thing in large groups such as these so I made my exit relatively early around 1AM. I did manage to squeeze in a rousing rendition of the Banana Boat Song with Matto... Daaaay-o! Daaaaaaaaay-o. Daylight come and me wan go home. A lovely evening for Scott.

Sunday morning, Yoshiko and I got to meet up with Stacy again after her 9 month absence from Utsunomiya and we had lunch at a lovely restaurant called Ishi no kura. As the name points out, the restaurant is in a large converted oya stone warehouse on the shore of the river, very nice. We even got a treat and sat outside in the beautiful sunshine and enjoyed a fairly decent meal. I wasn't a big fan of the egg-white they surrounded one of the dishes with, but the korean style rice bowl was great. Following a nice lunch, we headed off into the countryside around Motegi, stopped by the famous ice-cream stand for some strawberry ice cream and we even got to see the steam train pass on by. After leaving Stacy, Yoshiko and I headed to Movix and took in "The Constant Gardiner" or as it's called in Japan Nairobi no hachi (Bee of Nairobi).

It was a disturbing, thought provoking movie. The plot involves a drug company in Kenya using Africans as disposable test patients for their drug, with a diplomat's wife finding out about it and being silenced for her efforts to stop them. The diplomat must then bring together the shattered remnants of his wife's work and try and figure out what was going on since she didn't include him in her research. This was one of the few movies who kept me cemented in my seat for a few minutes after the credits started rolling, very powerful. Africa is a place filled with such hope and despair, it makes for a great backdrop for stories of this kind. My current favourite movie is Hotel Rwanda, which of course outlines the genocide in Rwanda that we, the West, allowed to happen. The Canadian UN officer in charge of the mission states at one point that he has 300 soldiers for the entire country and they were not allowed to intervene, while millions of Hutus were in the streets massacring hundreds of thousands of Tutsis. It's moments like these that we see the failure of the world bodies we've created to put an end to such savagery. Anywho.

Today, I'm meeting up with Scott and we're heading to Aiichirou's for the final Nabe party, and then tonight, just chilling out at home.

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Anonymous Keizo said...

Hi! We had a great fun at the last party! Let's do this again soon! By the way, please allow me to correct your incorrect posting. The man who sang "Lose yourself" was Takashi,my apprentice, not me. If I had sung it, it would have been perfect. Ha Ha...

11:50 AM  
Blogger Michel Lafleur said...

Aha! My apologies good sir... as I said, I left the room to go get a student when the song was sung... I just assumed it was our master singer who had ordered it up when I saw it on the screen. Thanks for clarifying!

9:11 PM  

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