Tonight was the next in a series of recent farewell parties. This one was for Charlie, who had recently moved to Mishima NOVA from Fuji NOVA.
Charlie had only been in Japan for about 6 months, and never really got used to life here. She was a very nice, friendly person, but she never really got used to living in Japan: she didn’t study the language, didn’t want to eat Japanese food, and didn’t always get along with other teachers. One of the factors in this was that she didn’t drink, and wasn’t all that interested in going to places where people would be drinking. Not drinking is not a problem, but if you want to spend some time with coworkers, you still have to be willing to go to izakayas or karaoke occasionally.
Not a lot of other teachers were planning on showing up at the farewell party. I had been working late Saturdays with Charlie and she specifically asked me, so I made sure to attend. The small group of people who showed up did have a pretty good time. We spent a few hours at a karaoke room that had pizza on the menu. Charlie seemed to have fun, so it was a successful farewell.
A note about the karaoke: Most karaoke machines have shortened versions of certain songs. For example, one of my staples is Copacabana by Barry Manilow. I’ll give you a minute to stop laughing. Take your time. Anyway, the original version of the song has a 2 minute long instrumental section in the middle. This may work in a live music performance, but at karaoke the singer basically has to stand around for 2 minutes while listening to a crappy midi instrumental solo. It seems like all of the English songs in this particular karaoke machine had the same issue. If I ever go back to this karaoke box, it’s going to be an all Ramones lineup.