Monday, December 18, 2006

Merry KuRiSuMaSu!

Yes, it is that time of year again isn't it? Funny how the holiday season kind of sneaks up on you, though the signs have been around for a few months here. Christmas here is purely a commercial venture for a majority of the people around here, with New Year's being the big holiday this season. This year, our school decided to hold a Christmas party, though I must lament the lack of planning that went into it. Out of necessity, since no other arrangements had been made, it was held at the school, pot-luck style, and turned out to be quite a blast, thanks to our fantastic students who brought enough food to serve an army of English teachers and students. As far as the drinking goes, Matt and I had pre-arranged a separate bar for ourselves in one of the classrooms. Making sure to get smashed is a great way to ensure a happy party... :-)

We started with a couple of shooters right off the bat after classes, and then settled in to White Russians (Vodka, Khalua and Milk) for the rest of the evening. Just enough to get us going, not overly intoxicated at all... Just to be silly, we also went out and bought these outrageous bow ties and head thingies at the hyakuen shop, and they made quite a splash. Here is my evil-reindeer-enticing-others-to-sin look... lol

I was quite happy when my lovely wife decided to join at the semi-last minute. She donned Mattoto's headgear for long enough to have a couple of pictures taken. This was our first entrance into the world of AEON parties since we got married and everyone was quite happy to see\meet\talk to her.

Matt and I had thought we would be the only ones decked out in anything for the party, we were wrong. Yuichirou, one half of the crazy guys from the Halloween Party, showed up in a Mrs. Claus outfit, and his ears from the Halloween party as well of course.

I guess you could say we were all a little crazy at this point. We all took turns joking around with the Missus, much to the amusement of everyone around, including Yoshiko who turned beet red from laughing so hard.

Our head-wear made its way around the party, landing on many a head in its journey. Matt did manage to hold on to his bow tie pretty well. Here he is with Stacy, the third member of Aeon Utsunomiya's foreign contingent.

Having had a long day of work, I planned for an 11PM exit from the party, which was supposed to be the end anyway. We left at 11:30, though I have no idea what time the party actually ended. Matt left around 1:30 apparently, and it was still going. I did manage to stick around long enough to capture this series of photos from the event. The crazy Missus Claus had tape on "his" armpits to hide the hair... well after a bit of drinking he let some people rip the tape off... youch! And to top that off, he stuck more on just so it could be done one more time and captured on camera! Here is the sequence of pictures... notice the look on people's faces, especially Kei on the top right.

Camera was faster than the pain signal apparently, the tape is off but he's still in the same pose.

There is is!

Quite a fun time was had by all, even though it did turn a little bit silly near the end. But hey, in a country where devil outfits are sold next to Santa Claus suits in the Christmas section and a bar called "Lucifer" has the logo "Heaven's Cafe", how can one not turn to the silly side?

Sunday was spent recuperating from the evening's festivities, we didn't even get out of our pyjamas or leave the house for the entire day. Watched The Fugitive and Wild Things on DVD, and generally lazed around.

Today, the plan was to get some more of our trip stuff sorted out, so after breakfast we headed down to the bank to acquire some travellers cheques and cash for our trip. less than five days to go!

Afterwards, we took a drive out to Mashiko to pick up some pottery Yoshiko and my mom had made back in October when she visited for the wedding. Both Yoshiko's cup and my mother's bowl turned out fantastic. Since we were in the area, we decided to stop by the rest stop near Motegi for their wonderful strawberry ice cream. On the way there, we spotted these strange things in a field and I learned about Dondoyaki (or Dondonyaki) from Yoshiko.

This pile of straw and bamboo is used in a ritual following the New Year's holiday where one burns the decorations, charms, dolls and other stuff which was used to protect one's home for the previous year. Shrines and other public places offer this all over Japan and people come by
throughout the day to toss their items in the flames, interesting ritual. This community apparently opted to also have a child's version off to the right of the big one, cool idea!

Short week ahead, I have taught my final busy Saturday of the year, for which I am quite glad. I am now able to count the remaining ones (7) I have left to teach using just my fingers... which is totally cool.

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Blogger Anskov said...

What? No pics of the pottery?

8:41 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

Love the head gear!! It looks like you folks had a blast... I can only hope Mitch that the evening didn't end on a balcony calling out for mercy ;)

10:11 AM  
Blogger Michel Lafleur said...

Nope, there was no balcony involved at all, not even hung over the next day. Much less than I can say for my dear wife though... thanks for the thought though Johnny... lol

10:47 AM  
Blogger Michel Lafleur said...

And no, no pics of the pottery. Since I am not the creator, it`s not up to me to unleash the beauty of these pieces (as opposed to some others I`ve seen) on the world...

10:50 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

lol... ahh the memories....

4:37 PM  
Blogger cathrina said...

lol...the pics are funny..and the sequence was

2:58 AM  
Blogger Donny B said...

awww Cute head Gear. Happy Christmass and Boona Année, just hope no one dresses up as the new year baby thing.

Fairly sure the thing with Mitch on a balconny was a one time thing. One can only hope.

10:45 AM  

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