I love that when I went out this past weekend, I was with people from Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, Ghana, the USA, Canada, Japan, Wales, South Korea, and Hong Kong. Too bad our friends from Trinidad, South Africa, and Singapore weren't there.
We went to karaoke at Shidax on Friday night and to Round 1 on Saturday night, with a side trip to the Joyful. Shidax is this giant temple of karaoke worship. In Japan, karaoke is private, like in the movie Lost In Translation. We had our own karaoke room and about 25 people hanging out, singing, and dancing. Each room has menus and a phone so that you can just pick up the hand set whenever you want and order a parfait or another beer as big as your torso. They offer a karaoke/nomihodai (all you can drink) price, but with a group that large there's bound to be some designated drivers, like me that night, and other people off the drink. Since the whole room has to pay the same rate, we ordered a la carte. Karaoke night was a success. When we paid our $700 tab at the end of the night, people went off to get ramen and continue the fun at the local foreigner pub, PEI. It stands for the place where the founder hailed from, Prince Edward Island. I wanted to go, but I have a 2 year old that isn't cognizant of where I went the night before or how much sleep I'm not getting; he will be chanting "Mommy, get up!" at 6am either way. And I've never been great at waking up in the morning.
On Saturday night I went to Round 1, which was our plan to replace camping since a typhoon kindly visited us. I love wind and rain. We all braved the storm to get to Round 1, which is a 6 storey entertainment emporium. They have bowling, tons of crane games, an arcade, motor bikes, roller skating and blading, tricycles, tennis, table tennis, basketball, soccer, batting practice, archery, curling, bull riding, massage chairs, karaoke, pool, gym equipment, movies to pick out and watch, slides, fishing... I could go on, but I think you get the picture. You pay about $20 to get in and it's open until 5 or 6am, I think. Before we went in, though, we left to go to Joyful, which (I hate to say) is kinda like Japan's Denny's. I'd like to think it's a little better. We drove, which was hilarious because we had to take 2 U turns and when we parked, Round 1 was pretty much right in front of us.
Joyful was really fun. I don't know why - good company, I guess. The Joyful 'drinks bar' is a major pull for people. They give you these coupons every time you go that give you a discount on the drink bar, making all you can drink tea, lattes, and soda about a dollar. I got the drink bar just because, and I came back with a latte and an orange soda. First of all, terrible combination. Second of all, I don't drink soda. I used to be a Diet Coke fanatic, but I stopped drinking soda sometime in college and I haven't had soda in I don't know how long; I might not have had soda the whole time I've lived in Japan, but I had the drink bar so I got it. I had a few tugs on my straw. That was enough. I lost my wallet on the way out of Joyful, but I found it. Under my arm.
We played at Round 1 for a few hours and got our Kitty-chan straps. Kitty like 'Hello Kitty', chan like the endearing Japanese suffix added to girls names, and straps... straps are these things that people attach to their phones, keys, bags, and everything else, and they hand them out at Round 1 as you leave. I have tons of them with different characters all over my life. There were some attached to my desk drawers when I got here, and they are still there. In fact, I added one. I put my newest kitty-chan on my phone. Some people have ridiculous numbers of these things hanging from their phones, so many that they are collectively larger and heavier than the phone itself. I drove 3 people home in 2 seats, and fell into bed.
Lucky for me, Knox's Daddy took him out to shop on Sunday morning and I was able to sleep until about 10am. Later I shopped at Don Qi's, which deserves a post of its own, met up with some friends, and we enjoyed an onsen called Sama sama. It was awesome to sit naked in a hot rock tub outside in the cold rain, having girl talk.
That's enough from me.