A quick update on tonight’s event: Neo Yataimura Super Night at the Tokyo International Forum!
RFTC was granted permission to pass out information to the people at the event. We had a pretty successful night – just as things wound down at around 10PM, we gave away our hundredth magazine. All right!
The only thing I can really equate this event to is something like a Beer Garden in the states. Yataimura is a big eating/drinking/fun event. Various vendors pull up in a van or truck and sell a food or beverage item for the night for cheap. Tonight, everything was 500 yen or less. Awesome. There was a huge variety of tasty food – everything from greek pita sandwiches to chorizos to ramen. Alcohol was also plentiful. Entertainment was provided, although I can’t say it was riveting or enjoyable. I mean, they had a flute band. Yeah, because when I think of a really fun night of drinking and eating with my friends, I know the only music I want to listen to is Frank Sinatra songs played by 15 flutes. But I digress.
Taro, Naoko and I passed out a bunch of fliers and magazines to people. I learned that it takes one Heineken for me to speak Japanese without sounding like a complete idiot. I was nervous about just going up to random people and talking to them about our events, but Naoko (ever the supporter) said: “That’s why you’re here! Go talk to them!” And then she cracked up when the first thing out of my mouth was “Hashiritai desu ka?” (Do you want to run?) It was the only thing I could think to say to describe our marathon event. The guys I was talking to were initially confused, but very understanding and kind when I corrected my silliness and explained myself. I was surprised that once I stopped worrying so much about what was coming out of my mouth that I could actually talk to people. I get stuck in my own head and think so hard about the words that I trip over my own tongue and say weird stuff. Learning to relax and just talk is probably the hardest part about speaking to people for me.
Tomorrow I have to head to the US Embassy for what we at the office have been calling the “Sesame street and beer” event. It’s this thing called “Friendship day 2009” and it’s some picnic event at the embassy with parades and some other stuff, I guess. Their flier advertised sesame street characters…and free beer with your 1,000 yen entry fee. Okay. Weird combination, but yee haw. Free beer is good though, right? I have to start the day at 10:00 AM meeting my boss in Roppongi and it won’t end until 5:00, so I’m going to take advantage of that as much as possible. I love my job.
I’ll leave this post with a photo from tonight – Naoko suggested we take a picture in front of the ice penguins. I watched a guy carve these with a chainsaw over the course of about an hour and a half. Pretty cool. I said something really stupid when I went up and touched it: “Oh, it’s cold!” Duh.
Tomorrow is Roppongi. I’ve been doing video at these events, so I’ll have something to put up when the weekend is over. It’s going to be a busy few days – I did get the apartment I mentioned in my last post, and I’m moving on Sunday. All right! I’m glad I’ll be living in a more residential area. I’ll absolutely miss the convenience of Akihabara, but I definitely won’t miss the Chuo line as my neighbor. I’ll report again soon from my new digs!
EDIT: I just reread my post and can’t believe I missed my own pun in the sentence about the ice penguins. “Pretty cool.” Ay dios mios. Funny to me.