Friday night proved more interesting than planned. I ended up being invited out for drinks by some folks on their way home from a PTA meeting if you can believe it! One of the guys was hilarious, and is apparently a maker of some fairly famous soy sauce around the region. I should go check out his shop one day. I don't know how they make that stuff, do you!?
Ok, so Saturday was my 29th birthday. Getting far too close to that number starting with thi- but what can you do right? My lovely sister was the first to call me with birthday wishes from back home. I got some emails too, thanks folks! My friend Mari popped by shortly before noon and we went driving, did a little shopping and had an early dinner. She took me to Toys R Us and bought me this little beauty:
Those of you who know me well will be unsurprised. What kid who grew up in the 80s wouldn't want a super-posable, transformable Optimus Prime? I mean, really...what's a birthday without at least getting ONE toy right? Since my mom's on the other side of the ocean I bought myself some socks too; so don't worry mom, I'm all hooked up!
A few weeks back I sent out a bunch of email and invited a goodly number of folks for a night of beer and bite-size snackage to celebrate my increasing decrepitude. Going by the number of replies I received, and using a healthy dose of experience-gained pessimism I guaged the turnout to be somewhere around 18 to 20 people. I was pleasantly surprised when the number ended up being 29~30, with several of the "for-sures" bowing out! The reason I say ~ is because I'm not sure that my mathematical abilities we quite up to par at the time I did the counting. I did another count on paper afterward however and found my brain wasn't so pickled as the negate me being able to count to thirty! I do remember being incredibly surprised by a phone call from my DAD to wish me a happy day. That was very cool, as I'd missed the earlier call from my mom, although she did leave me a recorded version of the birthday song on my voicemail!
I had a great time and am really grateful to everyone who came out to party with me. Lots of food, tons of conversation and just lots of fun. To top it off I was even more surprised at the number of great presents I got. I wasn't expecting to get any but if there's one thing the Japanese people, and my non-Japanese friends, are is generous. I got the aforementioned toy, some very nice flowers (only the second time I can recall getting flowers), a cool book, a PSP game, a DVD, some handkerchiefs (these are handy in the summer when you're sweating your nuts off here), candles, tea, incense, dishes, cake and cards galore. I took a picture of most of the stuff so you can all be jealous. :D
After working the restaurant staff ragged for nearly 6 hours most of the folks decided it was time to go home. Three am is a good time to call it quits right? Wrong! A third of our number decided they needed to do some singing, so I get dragged along to Big Echo around the corner. Another three hours later, a Proclaimers and Monty Python song later the sun is coming up and I am finally in bed.
Sunday and Monday are totally different stories, you'll have to wait for those along with the party pictures!