Wonderful weekend, wonderful friends

(A counter to post to my last ‘miserable’ one)

So I haven’t been any better at posting… but I’m writing now, so that’s better than not at all!

Friday was a later work night – 8p end.  A relatively quiet evening, ending around 1a or so.  Out with the normal gang – Daz, Julian, Juan and Rie.  Had an interesting experience in the later part of the evening where some individuals that were not of their right minds decided they’d like to consider fisticuffs.  That was defused quickly and we laughed it off a bit later when we decided that was not a place we’d like to be.

Saturday I met with Juan and Rie who showed me to some grocery stores.  Rie, being a native, then proceeded to help with the more difficult part – figuring out what things were.  I was not as worried over the food stuffs that day as I was the daily life things – trash bags, laundry powder, etc.  After the grocery they were kind enough to invite me along to their afternoon plans – Dikanyama, a neighborhood near Shibuya.  Unfortunately it was a bit rainy and we didn’t have our umbrellas.  Fortunately, however, we landed at an Italian plaza where there was a gourmet grocery store on one side and a wine bar / cafe on the other.  We sat under the canopy, drinking an Italian beer, eating Italian salami, and enjoying conversation.  We talked about a lot of things, but I mostly remember being a proud father, showing off photos of Olivia.  There were a couple of little girls there, running and playing in the rain, making me think of Olive.  Before we left the plaza, we stopped into the fancy grocery where Juan had a conversation, in Italian, with the Italian butcher.  I interact with so many languages now… it completely amazes me.  I’ll miss this element.

From Dikanyama it was back to their apartment for dinner – salad, pasta, and swordfish!  We had a lovely dinner where we moved through a bottle of wine rather quickly.  The meal was absolutely fantastic – I suppose it helps have an Italian (Argentinian-Italian!) cooking an Italian meal.  From there, it was two more bottles while we bounced through music on YouTube.  We went through so many things!  At some point I even pulled up a Justin Wilson video to demonstrate Cajun speech.  Poor Rie was especially lost in his accent and way of speaking, but Juan wasn’t doing so much better.  I was giggling through the whole story in the beginning of the video, so I paused it, explained it to Juan in clearer tone, and restarted it.  It was still pretty tough for him, but he got it a bit more.  We ended wrapping things up around 2 in the morning at which point I got a taxi ride home… I didn’t feel like walking, despite it being completely normal and safe.

Sunday had me up “early” (9a) when I started working on a broken system.  I bounced between work and my Xbox (oh yeah – the boxes from home arrived Friday morning) all day.  Around 530, though, I fell asleep on the couch and soon moved to the bed.  I had planned with Juan and Rie for them to come over, but when he called I declined saying I was too tired.  Within 5 minutes, though, I called him back!  It was ‘too late’ as he’d invited Joe (the Cuban!) to his house, but I was welcome as well.  I walked over just ahead of the pizza guy.  Again, good conversation, a beer, and great food.  Joe went back to his place (he had only landed from a US business trip a couple of hours prior) and I stayed to watch ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ which is a pretty reasonable movie.  And yes… I watched a movie… it does happen from time to time.

After the movie I took the walk home – yep, walking alone in the city at 1130p is completely normal – and talked with Susan & Olivia.  Olivia was quite talkative, and I swear her vocabulary has expanded wildly since I last saw her.  She seems pretty excited about getting here in a few days, so let’s hope that holds up.  Depending on their jet lag, I’ll likely introduce them around during the weekend.

So tomorrow it’s back to work.  I’ll be taking a half day on Friday to go pick up the girls from the airport and bring them in to town.  We’ll get on the Narita Express – Olivia’s first train ride – and then a taxi from Tokyo station to the apartment.  I think the rather energetic doorman works on Fridays, so that should also be an amusing treat for Olivia.  She’s seen a photo of her room, so she knows that’s where she’s headed.  We’ve continued to repeat the expectations of the airplane – quiet and sleeping – plus we’ve told her about the train.  Tonight I reminded her that we don’t have a car in Japan, so we will do lots of walking.  I’m also very strongly considering a bike, especially one with a child seat on the back.

So… it’s 1230a on Monday morning and I should be in bed.  Good night. 🙂

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