Posts Tagged sake
Last night at my official farewell party I drank sake. I generally try to avoid sake, because in the eloquent phrasing of the great reporter Brian Fantana, “90% of the time it makes me sick every time”. This time did not disappoint.
Today I had a very low key day at home, doing my best to re-hydrate and sleep off a nasty hangover. Eventually when I felt less fragile, I spent the remainder of the day binge watching The Shield and playing Grand Theft Auto.
Tonight was the official farewell party for my roommate Palmer. He is moving to Sapporo at the end of the month but we held the official farewell party tonight in order to accommodate other people which resulted in a larger turnout.
The evening followed the template of almost every other teacher leaving party: meet after work, go to an izakaya with a drink / food special, second party at karaoke. For tonight’s party, teachers and staff met at the garlic themed restaurant Ninikuya (literally garlic store). We all left a few hours later a bit drunk and smelling like garlic. Most of us moved on to Uta Club for karaoke. We didn’t book ahead (we rarely do), so our large group ended up being in a long, narrow room that had barely enough space for a table in the middle.
Sometime later into karaoke, sake was ordered. Getting into sake late into a night out is usually a bad idea. Tonight was no exception to that rule.
It’s unfortunate that some of the best parties are farewell parties.
(This is an unpublished entry from my original travel blog when I was teaching English in Japan)
Recently one of my coworkers quit in spectacular fashion, getting his work visa changed and then sending his resignation by fax before a busy weekend. Kasparov was already not very popular with the other teachers, and the way he quit and made the rest of our schedules much busier did not help at all.
Angie let me know that there was going to be a small farewell party for Kasparov after work. Not a lot of people were interested in attending, but Angie wanted at least a few of us to show up. Since I rarely turn down a post work drink (especially when asked by a woman with a Scottish accent), I agreed and was part of the 4-5 teachers who showed up.
We met at a small izakaya near Mishima NOVA that I hadn’t been to before. It was nice, but didn’t have the same familiar character that I had learned to love at Ryoba. Kasparov was ordering sake, and when it arrived, it was poured in a way I had never seen before.
Kasparov was presented with a small sake cup inside a wooden box. The waiter poured sake into the glass, and it overflowed filling the box as well. To drink this requires you to drain the glass, then drink from the box while trying to spill as little as possible. I was intrigued, but after a few too many rough experiences with sake, I decided to stick with beer.
After a few sake glasses / boxes, Kasparov and his girlfriend started laughing about how he quit, and he was so happy about screwing the company over. Most of the effect of his sudden departure was actually felt by the teachers and students, so we didn’t feel the same satisfaction that he did. Usually farewell parties start at an izakaya, and end with late night karaoke. This one ended after a couple hours in the izakaya.
If you are upset with your employer, try not to screw over your coworkers on the way out.
(2015 Update) Apparently overflowing the glass into a box is a traditional thing. Read more about it here.
At some point in my year and a half of teaching English, one of my students tried to convince me that good Japanese sake doesn’t give hangovers. After conducting some field research last night, I completely disagree. I would also like to find that student to have some harsh words with him.
But later… not feeling well now.