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Last Years End of the Year Party

Sunday, December 07, 2008 / Posted by Zackary /


My blog entry on our company party this year was a rush job. I moved some of the details to this blog and updated the previous blog. My urge is to spend hours making each entry properly creative and interesting but when I do that new entries happen about once a month.

[For those that are curious I have been influenced by Papa Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Baldwin's writing styles. As a side note the schools make everyone read Fitzgerald's, The Great Gatsby but I think it is his weakest work. The Beautiful and the Damned is his true masterpiece. ]

In America and Japan companies have holiday parties at restaurants, hotels and bars. More and more employees are paying for these parties. I am old enough to remember when they were free. Generally American parties go on for a couple of hours. If you work for a law firm the chances are good there will be an after party bar followed by a late, late bar. If you are lucky a wealthy attorney picks up the tab.

In Japan most restaurants reserve two hour time slots for parties. I discovered this fact by accident. Last year my company’s party was in the Kanayama area of Nagoya where I used to live. The Japanese map made no sense so I just got got off the train in the general area of the restaurant.Lots of other people took the train so I thought I would run into them. Walking around early I didn't see anyone I knew. At this point I was relaxed and sent a text message to two friends about the party. One texted back saying she was relaxing and home and not coming. Her husband got a large bonus and she was exhausted from a day of shopping. Walking around some more I started to worry. I called several people and sent more text messages. Still no replies so I stopped at McDonald's for an ice coffee and waited. As I was finishing up my coffee my co-worker Darrel called and told me where the restaurant was.

I quickly found it and discovered for once no one was on their cell phone. So my messages had gone unheeded. People in American use their cellphones all the time. The big difference in Japan is that calling people on your cell is expensive. They all like the American idea of free nights and weekends. So in Japan people are always checking their phones and sending text messages. Yes, that sounds like me too! Many people also plays games, especially on the new iPhone.

Anyway, the party was in full swing and the restaurant was elegant with lots of dark wood and creative lighting. My friend Jurai (pronounced July) passed me food of some form which I don't remember and picking up some chopsticks I found it delicious. Jurai, who speaks fluent English introduced me to his wife and new baby. My boss introduced me to some Japanese students and I chatted with them. Then another friend offered me a drink which I didn't know about and that was delicious too. So I was having a grand time and life seemed good. As I was getting a second drink at the bar I noticed that people were starting to put their coats on. I thought some people had to go home early to their families or something. So as I talked with a friend I was ready for more food and looked around to find a waiter. Looking back I found they were quickly cleaning up and everyone now had their coats on. "The party is over" someone told me as I too reached for my coat. Thus, I learned that holiday parties are two hours long!

Happy Dreams to all of You,



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