OK, so some serious back blogging (smack bottom for falling so far behind!) required!!
I taught pre-nup girl early, from 9-11am, and then was very excited to be able to go to the office for the rest of the day--the marking finished up early, so I wasn't needed to go in, which was lovely! I was naughty and went to Suji's for lunch even though I'd only been in for an hour at that stage-we had chili and rice which was very tasty! Stayed till 7ish and then headed, in the pissing rain, down to Peter's abode at the byoin to spend a couple of hours there on his last night before heading home after getting kicked out at around 9:30...
Taught 9:30-11:30, she was funny and asked me why Japan was bottom of the list of countries in a recent Durex survey on frequency of sex... I was like 'uhh how on earth would I know!?'
It's also been a bit of a challenge to get her to see just how badly affairs are looked at in North America/UK/etc, since they're really, really frequent and not nescesarily so badly regarded here (it can be along the lines of "If you don't pay for it, it's not cheating" and "If it's just sex, it's ok").
Anyway, after that headed to work, where it was pretty quiet, as Fridays usually are, especially since Helen was at immigration getting her visa all sorted out for her trip next week (stressful but ultimately successful). We went to Suji's again for lunch-it was PIA wrap day, how could we not?!
After work, around 6, I headed up to Roppongi Hills to kill some time before teaching at 7:30... It ended up being lots of fun-we met at Aoyama Book Center and picked out a couple of text books, and then since we'd almost finished our hour, she suggested we go to Coldstone Creamery, which was a very good suggestion!! We got our ice cream creations (mine included chocolate icecream, caramel, an oreo, whipped cream, and a chocolate waffle cone/bowl) and just chatted for another hour--she lived in Vancouver and has nearly perfect English, so it's great!
We finished up at about 9:30, and I headed home, walking in the door just as Helen called--we'd figured out at work that I was going to have to leave before 6am in order to meet her, and were thinking it might be easier for me to go to her place that night, when she called, we decided that was indeed the case. It was perfect timing, because I was able to see Peter, who had come home that night, and Hitomi, and then shower, pack, and get organised, and then get on a train at about 11:15 and meet Helen at 12am, just as she was on her way home from the gym (hers is open really late!!)
Headed back to Caroline's (which was empty as they were already up at Windsor Park with Tommie and Sandie) and we just chillaxed for about an hour before going to bed at 1 (my four hour sleep cycle theory was put to the test when...
..we woke up at 5am). Bright ish eyed and scraggly-tailed, we had tea (of course!) before grabbing our blendy's (cafeine, baby!) to go, and walking down to the station for the trip up to ueno, where we transferred to the Fresh Hitachi (almost like the shinkansen), meeting Marie and her boyfriend James, and settled in for our 7am (!) departure. It was so funny, because right beside us were this older Japanese couples, who pulled out their bentos, and proceeded to eat fish, rice, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, and large quantities of pickles! After 20 minutes, they all passed out fast asleep, and we, relieved that the fish/pickle odor combi was over, chatted and keitai facebooked our way to Ibaraki, just about an hour away. We took a bus to the lovely Windsor Park Golf and Country Club (about a half hour away, on funny in-the-aisle fold down seats), and then helped check people in, and visited Tommie and Sandie.
At about 9:30, we took the group photo, and then sent the competitive golfers out before we went for breakfast with Caroline. Our table grew as we added people, including a couple of non-golfing gals, and Jen, Emma, Mads, and Mike, who had traveled up on a later train. I had my first natto experience, which was good to do once, not as hideous as it looks, but really something I would never order on my own accord, it tastes really, really weird!
We headed off for 9 holes mid morning and it was great fun-the course is really nice, and our two CPI foursomes were completely and one hundred percent non competitive as we got our money's worth (more strokes = more money's worth) and followed our remote controlled-follows a set track on its own-golf cart, which was sooo cool!
See more pics by clicking on the picture of me grinning like an absolute idiot (and no, that wasn't posed, I think I was laughing at how bad my first tee shot was--pretty much a picked-my-head-up whiff.
We headed back in for lunch, while the competitors headed out for their back nine, we got changed and then set up for the prizes and bbq, and then chatted out on the lovely patio before we kicked off the bbq and prizes, which including getting to fly your own ex-military fighter jet plane in South Africa (get yourself to Cape Town tho!)
We headed back to the station around 6:15, on a very full, very genki, pretty well into the boddingtons and asahi bus. After some confusion, we ended up on the train, all of us together in one car, seats swivled around, and a couple of big bags of beer between the 20 or so of us. (Well Jen and I were in the sober corner, but anyway). We were having a grand old time in our unreserved reserved seats (see the confusion above) until the conductor came, and we tried to pay for the reserved seats, which he told us we didn't have to do. Which was sweet, until the family who had reserved the seats, by then taken over by a bunch of fairly well into it gaijins, showed up.
We kind of shuffled around (this train was not even remotely full) until the family decided that they'd killed the party and left, so we got our seats back, and the then one of our party went and bought a bunch of treats for the kids, and explained we'd been at the golf comp, and there'd been a bit too much to drink and a bit too much sun and whatever, and everyone was happy, and i think we'd kind of avenged our poor gaijin image on the train, which is good, because no matter how much it sucked that we'd been split up, especially since we'd tried to buy the seats and hadn't been able to, it isn't good to be the rowdy foreigners that everyone hates!
The conductor also came over at that stage, and then asked where we were from, and the group he asked was all British (as were a lot of our group!) and he was like 'I love Britain!' and soccer evidently as he started naming players "David Beckham, Michael Owen, Frank Lampard" It was pretty funny, and he was very friendly at that point, although I'm sure probably glad to get us off the train!
We got back to Ueno, rather more stumbly than when we got on the bus in Ibaraki, and everyone headed off in their various directions. Helen and I got on our metro train back to Tokyo together since we live in the same direction, and then ended up planning a slumber party of sorts, which is where I wrote that super quick blog from last night. We ended up getting pizza, watching Sliding Doors (very enjoyable!), having icecream, and facebooking, it was a great night after a great day!
Came home at around 11, just before Lisle turned up bearing tons of brunch-y foods, and Peter, Lisle and I chilled outside in the lovely weather for awhile, before she had to go and I settled in for a relaxing day of calling a couple of people, attempting to vaguely chose some classes for next year, and coming down off the general high of the last 48 or so hours.
Now we're just watching the OC (season two), and then heading to bed fairly soon probably-another busy week coming up!