Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Shimanesque 4: Party Hearty

"Dustin! You're back!"

"Yep. I'm back in town for the week."

"No kidding? Cool, man! Sit down, have a drink."

"Thanks! It's good to be back."

"Yeah, man. Long time no...well, I guess not really, huh? You were just here in January, right?"

"Yeah. It feels less like I have been living really far away and more like I was just really busy with work for the past couple of months and couldn't get out here to see everybody."

"Cool. Welcome back, all the same."

Any trip back to the old stomping grounds requires meeting as many friends as possible.

This time was no different, although my allotted time in Shimane didn't leave me much leeway to get around and see everybody.

Wednesday, I met up with the Obamas and the Isodas, a couple of cool families that I've know since I was an exchange student. Mrs. Isoda lent me her bicycle so I could swing by Makiko Obama's workplace to say hi and then boogie on over to SATY to meet up with a couple friends from the Women's College in Matsue. We had some soba for lunch over at the Ichibata Department store and then worked our way back to SATY to take some print club (see also: purikura). I was hoping to bike over to the Women's College to catch up with Kishimoto Sensei, but after we finished up in SATY, it was raining like nobody's business. I had to get that bike back to the Obamas, so I bought a raincoat and pedaled back in the rain. Then I got a ride back to the station and caught a train to Izumo.

The rest of the day was spent running around to the BOE and different elementary schools, catching up with teachers. The night was spent running around to different bars and catching up with friends. CG and I had dinner at Bamboo, and we talked for a while about different things. After I saw her off (and made a plan to meet up again Saturday night), I hit Bamboo, Chaka (to meet up with Jara and Sayuri), and Soul.

The next day was more of the same. A run over to Izumo High School to meet up with The Don. A couple of elementary school visits. Lunch with teachers from the Super English program. A trip out to Hirata to catch up with Yakabe-san and Nishio-san. Okonomiyaki and beer with Kawakami Sensei. Over to Ri-Way to catch up with Eiji. (Weird story: some pharmacist guy was there with staff from his office and asked me to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" on karaoke. I did, and he told Eiji to put all of my drinks and karaoke songs on his tab. Sweet!). I ended up at Liberate with Kenji, where I took this picture.

Kenji, the owner of Liberate, and I at our sober best. Ha ha.

Friday night was party time. Again. This time I was invited out to a party with one of my old elementary schools. But when I got there, another one of my old schools was there as well. This was also the second party that these teachers were at. This means that they were already feeling quite good and expected me to catch up.

The party with the teachers from Yotsugane Elementary, and just to the right of this was...

The party with the teachers from Takamatsu Elementary.

This usually leads to trouble.


Actually, I was just REALLY tired and was catching a few Zs at a friend's bar while I waited for my friend Takashi to eat some ramen. I then caught a taxi back to his place and spent the night there.

Saturday night, I hung out at Jara's place for a while, and then we headed in to town. I met up with CG, and we went out and sang karaoke for a couple hours. Good times, although with me still being absolutely gonzo for her, I found myself fighting off the urge to read too much meaning into the song lyrics she was singing.

Jara found this to be quite funny when I told him about it later.

I made one more run of the bars in Izumo, drinking at a couple but mostly just popping in and saying goodbye to folks. Then it was back to Jara's to get some sleep.


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