Firstly, I've given in and decided I will go to the Yamanote Party - for a bit anyway. I mean, how bad could it be?
Now, to be honest, I don't normally talk about evenings out because, let's face it: "I went out, got a bit drunk, had a good time, sang, went home", doesn't make for interesting reading.
Last night though will go down in memory for it's oddness. It started off normally enough: I'd been out on Saturday for a change (I don't normally go out on Saturday nights due to getting up early on Saturdays, working a tough day, and then having to get up early on Sunday for the certTESOL: Sunday nights / the odd midweek are more normal for me).
The cast of characters part 1 - a handful of teachers and Gaijin management; a handful of Japanese management and Japanese staff and about 200 students.
After the course, I went to a company drinking event and spent two hours, not getting drunk, and having random conversations with students
The cast of characters part 2 - a smaller handful of teachers, Gaijin management, Japanese management and staff and about 20 students
After the event ended and most students had left, the drinking continued - for free - and there were some very strange and random conversations, including one Japanese staff member (let's call him Mr A, who sat questionning a member of Gaijin management about his sex life, in front of a group of people; a Japanese staff member who went all out for alternating between full-on flirting and full-on nit-picking with pretty much any male within a close vicinity
The cast of characters part 3 - two English teachers, a member of Japanese staff (JFS) and a member of Japanese management (Mr A.), 3 female and 2 male Japanese students
The time came in the evening when the call for karaoke just got too loud, so off we trotted for a few hours of singing mainly English songs, drinking, dancing on seats and tambourine shaking. One Japanese male had to leave to get home and the 2 Japanese married female students had to get back to their husbands. Rather strangely Mr A. seemed to nervous to join in any of the English songs, despite his English being rather good, but I guess he may have been too nervous in front of us? Instead, he sang lots of Japanese ballads and smoked away in the corner when we were singing - before clapping us and telling us how great we were.
Despite keeping a close eye on the time, we managed to pass the time which would have enabled us to get last trains and got taxis to go drinking elsewhere instead.
The cast of characters at this point: 2 English teachers, 1 Japanese female staff member (JF Staff), 1 male student (JMS), 1 female student (JF Student), Mr A - and, after a bit, a strange Gaijin called Tim.
Despite a lot of faffing, uhmming and er-ing, we managed to get 2 taxis to the same place, decided to go for some ramen but ended up in a pub instead as we absolutely had to pee and it was chucking it down outside. The pub was meant to shut at 2am, but we stayed til about 3.45am, I think.
Mr A became a little letchy towards JF student turning a little light flirting into full-on creepiness and trying to get her to kiss him in the pub (where the 7 of us were pretty much the only people); JF staff got very pissed, had a shout-out with Mr A and then stormed out into the Shinjuku night at around 3.30am; Tim seemed pretty normal; conversations were generally weird; Mr A left to go home soon after JF staff staff had stormed out. JM student had gone a little earlier too.
Deciding finally that it was only fair that we left so the bar staff could go home we left and JF student decided to go and hunt for JF staff who was in a Yoshinoya in Shinjuku. For those who don't know - this is a chain of uber-cheap Japanese fast food restaurants and there are rather a lot of them in Shinjuku!
Tim gave his umbrella to JF student which then gave him the excuse to share Gaijin teacher's umbrella with the line: "I'll have to put my arm around you, okay?" Gaijin teacher, who is straight, remarked something along the lines of, "strangely, this feels okay." Tim then started trying to fondle Gaijin teachers arse.
Meanwhile, JF student decided to give up her hunt for JF staff and try to find us again. Standing in the middle of a couple of roads, whilst trying to avoid being hit by trucks and lorries unloading and delivering food to the restaurants around, we somehow managed to get JF student to understand where we were.
Declining Tim-the-strange-drunken-Gaijin's offer to take us to some dodgy sounding drinking joint until first train, we opted for ginger pork in Matsuya at 4am instead where the three of us talked utter bollocks until it was time to get one of the first trains home some time around 5am.
Happily, today has been my day off!
Oh, I nearly forgot: in todays teaching practice, I had students write tag questions to ask me. Having given them free reign to ask anything I was prepared that anything could come up. Most of the questions were absolutely fine. Until I got around to the final group who asked:
"You like tripping, don't you?"
It actually took me a few seconds to realise they probably weren't referring to drugs. I went rather red apparantly before correcting their question to: "You like travelling, don't you?"
Being such a good [cough] teacher, and knowing the students who'd asked the question, I explained "tripping" to them after the lesson!