Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Extinguisher

Two weekends, ago, nothing overly exciting happened so I skipped writing about it. I went to Isesaki (another part of Gunma) and drank there with Emmet. We drank at this place called London Bus which is actually a real British double decker bus which was converted into a bar. They had an all you can eat and drink deal for only 3000 yen so it was pretty worth it. We went to another all you can drink place after that and I did a lot of karaoke which was fun.

Last week was a pretty standard week, aside from one thing that happened. On Wednesday, I was gonna go get dinner with some of the other local ALTs. Since we were going to a place where Kelly and Michelle (the newest ALTs in our area) didn't know how to get to, I just offered to pick them up since it was pretty much on my way anyway. They were both at Michelle's place. For whatever reason, the entrance to her building's parking lot was roped off. So, I parked in a small lot right in front of the small shop next to her building.

I waited for the girls for a bit, and then they eventually came out and got in the car. As I turned left onto the road, suddenly there was this huge crunching sound as the car came to a sudden stop. I ended up running right into this big tall concrete slab that acts as a divider between the sidewalk and the road. Sort of like a curb but its probably about almost nearly a foot off the ground. The position of this thing was pretty poorly thought out. I seriously just turned onto the road like anyone normally would, but it was dark and really hard to see this thing so I guess I just failed to notice it.

I tried to back up but the card wouldnt move at all. I got out to inspect the damage and realized that the front left of the car was being propped up by the concrete slab, and the car was completely wedged in there. The front left tire was no longer touching the ground, so I couldnt back up. I tried to push it off while Michelle sat in the car and hit the gas, but it wouldnt budge.

After trying that and failing for a bit, I decided I was going to need more help if I was gonna get this to move. So, I knocked on the door of the building we were in front of. There was an older man probably in his 50s or so. I told him what happened and showed him my car. Luckily he was very friendly and helpful. We tried a few things and eventually we carried over a giant jack and some big wooden planks. We propped the car up with the jack, slid the wood under the tires. Once we put the car back down, we were now able to get traction from the tire on the wood and I was able to back the car out.

Unfortunately, we noticed that the car was now leaking oil front where the impact had occurred. The man said he had a friend who was a mechanic a few buildings down the street, so I drove over there and he got his friend to come out and look real fast. He said that the car would be safe to drive as long as the warning light didnt go on. He said I could probably make it home but that I should watch the light and avoid driving beyond that. I tried to call my supervisor (since my car belongs to the board of education) to see what she wanted me to do, but there was no answer. I decided it would be best to just get home and not drive after that. I apologized to Kelly and Michelle for pretty much ruining tonight's plans but they were very helpful and not angry. I ended up making it home fine.

I had to walk to work for the rest of the week. Fortunately Thursday and Friday were just days at my main school which is only about a 15 minute walk. I called my supervisor again Thursday morning and she came with someone from the board of education. I told her what happened and apologized. She didnt seem very angry or anything and said that insurance should pay for it. She said it might be over a week until I get the car back, though. So, aside from not having a car for a while, I guess it turned out better than I originally had thought.

And so, moving on to the most recent weekend...

This was a 3 day weekend since Monday was a national holiday. On Friday, I drank with Emmet for a bit at Joyfull (a family restaurant, sorta like Denny's or IHOP, except they serve alcohol, too.) We drank there for a few hours cuz Emmet wanted to see how it was on a Friday night in hopes there would be some cute girls or something lol. It ended up not being very packed but we drank for cheap and had a good meal. After that, Ryoko picked me up from there and we went back to my place to drink some more and watch The Two Towers (this was her first time to see it).

Saturday, I got woken up by Ryoko at about 10:00 am. I was sorta hungover so I started the day with a shot of whiskey to perk me up a bit. Today, Ryoko had plans to go with her friends Eri and Remi and Remi's 2 year old daughter to a small amusement park in Gunma which is mostly for kids called Shibukawa Skyland Park. I had other plans with Ryoko later in the day but nothing to do until then so I said I would tag along. I was sorta 50/50 on going since I wasnt feeling so good in the morning but the 2 year old girl (her name is Au-chan) really likes me, so I didnt wanna disappoint her after she was told I would come, too.

Before going to the park, we got Udon at this restaurant that Ryoko told me has one of the 3 top most famous kinds of Udon in all of Japan. I forget exactly what its called but it was pretty good.

I had never been to this park before. They had several rides but they were all pretty mild. They had like a tea cups ride and a very small roller coaster. They also had a bunch of ticket redemption sorta games. Ryoko and I played one where you throw balls into a giant plastic hippos mouth with a moving jaw (it totally reminded me of Hungry Hungry Hippos) and we won Au-chan a little stuffed rabbit toy.

Thankfully, this park sold beer, so I had one or 2 cans of beer which made it a little more enjoyable. There were go-karts, too, which I rode with Ryoko and Eri, but unfortunately they were really slow.

One of the best things about the park was the haunted house. I was expecting it to be EXTREMELY lame since this was just a kiddy park, but it actually was pretty cool. It was hard to see anything in there. I went in with Ryoko who followed behind tugging my shirt the whole time. There were no actors but they had a lot of mechanical stuff that popped out at you and some other stuff like a moving floor and what not. I ended up going through a 2nd time with Eri and Remi while Ryoko stayed with Au-chan. They insisted I go first and did the same thing as Ryo. Since I knew what to expect this time, I made sure they went in front of me during some key parts to scare them more. I don't really think most little kids could handle that haunted house. If Au-chan went in there she would probably have nightmares for a long time.

Overall, it wasnt all that exciting but Au-chan really enjoyed herself so I didnt mind going along.

After it was over, we headed back and part ways. The plan for the evening was to go to Ryoko's aunt's 60th birthday party. In Japan, people's 60th birthday party is considered to be extremely important. Since I have officially asked for Ryoko's hand in marriage and have been accepted as part of the family, they wanted me to be there, too. Ryoko's father knows the owner of the small izakaya where it was at, so we had the whole place to ourselves. There were about 14 people total. Ryoko, her sisters, her parents, me, her Aunt, her Aunt's friend, and her other Aunt, Uncle, and their daughter. It pretty much reminded me of the enkais we have for work, except for family. The party lasted for 4 hours and there was so much good food and unlimited drinks. Everyone drank a lot and had a lot of fun.

After it was over, Ryoko couldn't stay out late because she had to work the next morning. So, I spent the rest of the night drinking with Emmet in Numata. I crashed at his place afterwords.

Then next day, we heaeded to Maebashi. Today was Maebashi matsuri. Emmet had plans to meet up with a girl and go see Rise of the Planet of the Apes at the theater and would meet up with me later. I spent about the first hour at the festival by myself but then eventually Andy came and we hung out for a while. This was my first time at this specific Maebashi matsuri (there are a few each year). There was TONS of good food stands. There was also a section where the entire main street was blocked off and tons of people were dancing in the middle. Unfortunately they kept playing the same song over and over but their outfits were cool.

Andy had a concert to go to so he left after a while. Around that time, Emmet and the girl came. We walked around a bit more, took some photos. Shortly after, we ran into the bartender from Propeller, the place where we often play poker. He was working at Dickens (another pub which is also owned by Master). He said Master was around so we went and had a beer at Dickens and talked with Master for a bit. One of the other guys we played with was there, too. He owns a snack bar called Chicago right across the street. We all decided that the next poker game would be on the 16th, so that should be fun.

After finishing our beers, it was time to head to Tokyo.

Tonight was Mogi and Masami's birthday party. Since neither of them work at Current anymore, the party was held at Big Time, which is the bar where Piko works now. This was my 2nd time to go there. Its a pretty small bar, but pretty nice. There was a good turn out and mostly all the people there were regulars from Current. I had a birthday shot with both Mogi and Masami.

The bar is sorta separated into 3 sections. When you walk in theres a small section with just one table by the stairs. You can go left where theres a little DJ area and you can go right where the main bar and tables are. At some point in the night, I was sitting at the table in the middle section by the stairs. Suddenly, this huge cloud of pinkish smoke just poors into the rest of the bar from inside the main bar area. I didnt know WTF was going on and was already drunk by then. I went inside there to check it out and to get my backpack, since everyone was starting to evacuate to the outside. It turns out someone had messed with a fire extinguisher devise.

As I was going up the steps, I asked this one dude what happened. He said something how his friend was holding the extinguisher. I really didn't know anything or even who he was talking about. I was outside talking with someone else and I said something how I heard that someone said their friend did something. Some crazy drunk white chick that was there suddenly over hears me and shes like "What!? You know who did this!? Come here!" She like grabs my arm and brings me over to where Piko and the other guy who work there are and shes all like screaming frantically, "This guy knows something!" and I explained the little bit I knew (which was really nothing) and then they just said thanks and asked the dude who told me his friend had it. There was talks about having to call the police or something but after a while. People were just sorta standing outside confused. Then this one guy left in a cab. This one other guy was all fucked up looking (maybe over exposure to the chemical, I dont know). I guess it was that crazy white chick's friend. She just started going off on everyone pointing at them and yelling shit about how its each persons fault for various reasons. She pointed at me and said "Fuck you for holding back information!" I was like "WTF I didn't even know anything!" She stormed off and wasn't seen again after that. I mean... I understand she was upset cuz her friend wasnt doing so well. I was also a bit upset since whoever did that fucked the bar up and put the party on hold and Piko is my friend, but id say pretty much screaming fuck you at everyone was a bit out of hand.

After a bit more waiting, eventually the smoke cleared and Piko just said it was OK to go back inside. Everyone continued to drink and people helped to clean up the mess afterwords as well. The rest of the night was fine aside from that residue being everywhere, It had a sour taste to it.

The party ended at around 5 and then tons of people headed to PSY. I drank there for a like over 2 hours maybe cuz I think I went to bed at around 7;30 am.

The next day I was a bit hungover. I mailed Ryoko and she said she was cool to hang out tonight but she had work till 8:30, so I had some time to kill before leaving Tokyo for my 3 hour train ride home.

I got some ramen in Shinjuku and then I stopped over at Mikado to play some GG. It was pretty much dead with like one single Millia player playing the computer. I never walked around to see who it as but he had 10 wins. I played him and won the first game but he was really good. We played about seven games. I dont remember but I think it was final score 4-3 in his favor. I then went to play some SSFIVAE. I played the same guy the whole time. He was using Ryu for the first match and I won, and then he switched to Ken and we played a few more. I won a few but he had more wins than I did.

After that, it was time to start heading out. On my way out, I ran into Satoshi who was just coming in. I told him I had to go back to Gunma and id see him next time. I walked to the station and then after I bought my ticket, I turned around and Satoshi was there, lol. He said it was dead so he decided to leave. I said bye to him and we got on separate trains. After I got home about 3 hours later, I spent the evening with Ryoko.

I still don't have my car back yet, but hopefully I will soon. Next weekend is another Final Roundbats and more poker!

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