March 17, 2006 – Green Beer

Today was St. Patrick’s Day, a cultural celebration of someone that I assume was named Patrick. Like many Canadians, I don’t know the reason for the celebration, but I do know that it’s a great excuse to wear green and drink.

It’s not easy to find a St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Japan, but my coworkers managed to do just that. They learned that Speak E-Z, billed as an English school and bar, was hosting a St. Patrick’s day event.

There is nothing particularly wrong with Speak E-Z, but among NOVA teachers it had gained a reputation similar to the way that people react to GasPanic; meat factory for foreign guys to meet Japanese women. Speak E-Z was far less sketchy than GasPanic, and didn’t have any indication that you needed to have drink in your hand at all times to remain inside (author’s note – don’t take that sign literally!)

After work the other teachers and I headed straight to the bar, which was already unusually busy. I would guess that Speak E-Z should comfortably hold about 50 people. There was a band set up in the corner taking up space, and by the end of the night there must have been over 100 people jammed into the remaining space. I didn’t care because they had 300 yen green beer.

My memories of the evening are fuzzy. I remember running into Palmer’s ex-girlfriend and talking to her for a while. When she and Palmer were together, she was ALWAYS at our apartment, even when he wasn’t. This kept Azeroth and I from getting along with her, so it was good to get a chance to talk to her afterwards. She is a pretty cool person overall.

I also remember drinking more than enough green beer, and then later finding out that the mugs had left green rings around my mouth. This led to another vague memory of deciding that I was done with green rings around my mouth and that I should switch to tequila shots.

Drinking pro-tip: if you are half way through an evening out and suddenly think that tequila shots are a good idea, go home. You’re judgement is impaired and you will only make bad decisions from this point forward.

We left at closing, covered in green spills, smelling like cigarette smoke (yes, you can smoke inside in Japan), and still tasting tequila. Someone decided that they would offer Vivian a ride home in their bicycle basket. Vivian is a tall, full figured British woman who has trouble buying women’s clothes off the rack in Japan. She was not designed to fit in a bicycle basket. They surprisingly lasted about one city block before the bicycle fell over, spilling both driver and passenger. I ran to assist and managed to twist my knee YET AGAIN. Despite the anesthetic effects of the alcohol I had consumed, I had a miserable walk home and an unpleasant sleep.

At least I didn’t have to work early shift like the other teachers!

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