Finally doing one of these....enjoy... lol
by, 7th October 2012 at 05:37 AM (4925 Views)
Hi everyone. Funny how long I've had this thing, and how I've never used it, but I must warn you now, I tend to write long entries, which is why I usually don't do blog entries. Don't want to bore you all. ^^
Anyway, since I received many birthday greetings, I decided to just blog about it and how my birthday went. I felt it'd be easier to do so here in a blog, and to thank you all for leaving me Happy Birthday greetings. I really appreciated them.
So, as it says, my birthday is October 6. I received a birthday card from home from my aunt and cousin. It was a fun card. Very silly. lol On Friday night, I received a gift from one of my students. It's apparently, very good sake. I was very surprised that he gave me such a nice present. No, I haven't opened it yet. lol...
On Saturday evening, I went up to Yamagata city (山形県). This is where I lived when I was in Japan the first time before I returned stateside last year. Some of the people I hung with live up there. I'm currently living in Nagai city (長井市). I'm in the same prefecture, just a different city. Think of a prefecture as a US state (sorry, I can't compare it to other places, as I'm not very knowledgable of the set up). It's not fully accurate, but I'll use it for this scenario. I'm from the state of Virginia and am from Richmond, Virginia. Richmond would be the city (of course) and Virginia would be the prefecture (ken). I live in Yamagata-ken (山形県), just in a different city this time around. I'm about an hour and a half away by train and about an hour away by bus/car. I don't drive, so that means I rely on the bus and train to get up there, unless I'm with someone.
Okay, getting back on topic...I went there and met up with my friend Sarah. She was just recently married. She had a Shinto Kekkonshiki (神道結婚式), which is a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony. Shinto style. It's usually a very small ceremony, the actual marrying part. The ceremony and the events that lead up to it is usually only for the immediate families of the two parties involved. My being apart of it and the ceremony itself was kind of nontraditional. Both sides see me as "family" (I'm friends with the groom too) and really wanted me there. They eve had me take the wedding pictures with them, even though I'm not related to either. Anyway, after the traditional stuff (which includes a toast of wedding sake to the new groom and bride), there is a wedding reception. That's when friends, coworkers, other family members of the bride and groom come together. The bride and groom also change out of the traditional stuff and put on other clothes for the reception.
Well, I'll shut up about that now. lol So yes, I met her at Yamagata Station (山形駅). I took the bus there. The plan was that we go to this karaoke place called Jiyukan...
I hadn't been here since I'd moved away from Yamagata. The best time I had at this place was when we went for Halloween back in 2010....
I hope this works for you all.
The group was originally supposed to have been about seven in all, but it was only five of us (mostly the four of us since the other person came late, and had to leave early because of work). So, since the others were still at work at the time, Sarah and I walked from Yamagata Station to Jiyuu-kan. It's about a mile walk. Was nice walking, though. "Hissashiburi!" lol Anywho, they'd made the reservation and everything for 7:30. I was very surprised to see them bring in a surprise for me....
So Hide and his bro, Shin (probably) made the cake for me. Hide even made the cake for his own wedding. lol Why pay someone to do what you already do professionally for a living. lol Their family owns two bakeries. The other present was a nice handkerchief and a wallet with a charm inside of it from Hide and Shin's mother and the karaoke thing was the present from Sarah and the other person who couldn't come (as she was the one who rented the room for us).
The other present I got, was from the person who took this photo who joined us late after work...
...and her son. He was too tired to come. He's turning 12 soon. They went to Osaka over the summer and went to the Pokemon Center and brought me back a gift...the keychan with Pochama and his higher evos. They knew how much I liked Pochama so he was the one to pick it out.
We really killed the cake. We managed to finish it. lol It was really good. I'm going to order a Christmas cake from their shop this year, just like I did back in 2010.
So we stayed at the karaoke place from 7:30 to about 12:20 or so. At that point, I was in a bit of a predicament. Originally, I was supposed to have stayed with one who got us the good rate and helped to rent the room (that was her present), but she didn't come. So, I decided that I'd stay at a hotel. Hide offered for me to stay at his family's home, but the problem would've been that I would've been pretty much alone, since Sunday is a workday for all of them. I didn't want to stay at Sarah's place, since Hide stays there now and there isn't as much room. So, I asked to be dropped off at the station and that I'd just check into one of the nearby hotels and to not worry about me. I also promised to text them once I was settled at a hotel.
So, I went to the closest hotel. I told them that I was tired, that the last bus and train to Nagai city have already gone, and that I needed a room and if they had any. I learned a new term last night. The clerk said "manshitsu" (満室). I'd never heard it before. He then said, in English, "Filled up". I was surprise, but was like, "meh, no prob." I thanked him for his time and left. I went to the nearby Comfort Inn Hotel. "Gomen nasai, manshitsu". I thanked him and went on my way. I went to the hotel that I'd stayed at when in town for the wedding last month. I didn't go in, "満室" was written on the door. I didn't want to go farther than that as I did know of another hotel, but it was raining, and at that point, my umbrella had broken on me and it was rainy. I went to check out the other hotels on the other side of the station's exit. About four more, "manshitsu, manshitsu, manshitsu, manshitsu". At that point, I didn't particularly care. So, I went back to the station, found an area with an outlet, sat down on the floor, plugged in my phone, and turned on Skype. lol I called home.
I wasn't very sleepy, as I'm used of being up late on Saturday nights anyway since I usually video chat with my family. I checked the bus and ttrain schedule. The next train to head back to where I lived left at 6:30 am and the next bus to here would've left at 8:30, so I took the first train back. I got messaged after a while, wondering how I was doing, so I said, that I was fine. They all had to work Sunday, and I would've hated for them to come all the way back out here just to pick me up and take me back to their place. They stayed out late enough as it was for my sake, especially Shin who has to be to work at about 6 so I wanted them to rest.
Despite that, I still had a great time. This will definitely be one of the most memorable birthdays I've ever had. ^_^
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