I'm going to finish up writing about being in Japan over the New Year, even though there's not much more to tell. Last off, I was a little lost but kind of found in a bar on New Years. I was separated from my friends, but I was not alone in a place jam packed with revellers. I was finally able to borrow a cellphone and get in touch with Herb who had somehow wandered home, empty bottle of Jagermeister in hand.
I eventually made it back to Herb's in a cab and settled in for a sleep on the floor. Next morning was a nabe breakfast and a couple hours of talking. It's the first time I've been able to speak rapid-fire English face to face since Canada, pretty much. I took advantage of it, and Herb's a great guy to talk to. When I worked with him in Japan, he and another guy Jon and I would sometimes play a game where one person gives a subject, and the other must talk for two minutes on that subject. These guys knew everything about everything, and even if they don't, they're masters at making you believe that they do.
Herb and his girlfriend Mika were off that afternoon to the seaside to ask Mika's father for permission to marry. Congratulations, guys! (I'm happy for me, as well, as their impending nuptials means a return visit to Japan sometime soon!)
I rode the train back up to Fukuoka and made it back to my friend's house, where they'd been drinking all day! Ha! Later that night, we went for "yakkiniku" - which is Korean BBQ. It wasn't my choice, but it was good, albeit quite a bit more expensive than it is here in Korea.
A couple more days of relaxing and a bit of shopping and some meals. We went to the sushi-go-round. Loved it. We went to karaoke. Sang it. We went to Costco. Shopped it. And, *sniff* then it was time to get back on the hydrofoil home. We experienced a "high sea" that afternoon and people were puking into paper bags all around me. I'm lucky, though, and never get seasick. A few times we rode up the one side of a huge wave and came down HARD! I was jolted awake, and everyone let out a scream. I considered how much I love the term "rogue wave." I don't know why. Safe arrival though.
For those in Korea, I highly recommend a trip to Japan. It's amazing how to countries so close together seem worlds apart in a lot of ways. For you guys, the current Japanese fashion trend for the ladies is ultra mini-skirts and thigh-high hooker boots with stockings peeking just so out the top of them. There's a lot of leg to admire over there. Like I wrote recently to Kevin, though, if I was hired by the Japanese tourism board, I'd suggest a slogan like, "Japan: you'll come for the culture, but you'll stay for the chocolate!"