Our First Japanese Party

Unlike the previous weeks, there were several important things that happened this week. For one thing, we received our allowance for the month of October last Friday. For another thing, we had our final exam in C++ last Wednesday.

But the most important thing that happened this week is that we’ve attended out first Japanese party. It was the annual kick-off party of Epson Software Development, Inc. held at Hotel Buena vista in Matsumoto, Nagano-ken.

The setting of the party was like most other parties. It was like one of those standing parties, where there is an abundance of Japanese food served in a big center table and there are several smaller tables, where beer, wine and 酒 (Japanese rice wine) are served.

True to our expectations, all the big bosses of ESD were there and there seems to be an unlimited supply of beer. Non-Japanese trainees and employees were also there to join the celebration.

Ueda-san, ESD’s president, started the party with a brief speech. Though we don’t exactly understand what he was trying to say, I think it was about his aspirations for the company for the coming year.

Later on during the party, we were introduced to our future bosses in our respective laboratories. In my case, I was introduced to Kagoshima’s General Manager, who, by the way, speaks fluent English. He asked me if I wanted to accompany him in looking for my apartment. That would mean going to Kagoshima on a Business Trip. Whew!

Who am I to refuse to such a tempting offer? But wouldn’t that be too good to be true? So I told myself, it’s either he was just being very nice or he was simply drunk. So far, it seems like the latter.

My description of the party wouldn’t be complete if I don’t make mention of the food. The food was simply great. It was like the best Japanese food I’ve tasted in a long time. It was also the first time I’ve tasted 刺身 (raw fish) and unlike what I’ve known previously, it actually tastes good.

Finally, I should emphasize that when the Japanese drink beer, they really make sure that they get drunk. You can see it in their faces. During the party, they were all red-faced and they were all acting strangely. They were actually having fun. We’ve actually got to see them like we’ve never seen them before.

The party ended with everybody shouting Banzai three times. It was only there that I’ve discovered the “Banzai” was very much like our own “Mabuhay” back in the Philippines. I just can’t wait to go to my second Japanese party. So, to end this entry to my journal… Mabuhay! Mabuhay! Mabuhay!

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