As I wrote in this post, in April many teachers, and even vice principals and principals, find themselves moved to a different school for the new academic year. Because of this, there are 送迎会 (“sougekai”) meaning “Farewell and Welcome Party.” Tonight was the one for the English Department. Of the teachers who’d been transferred to other schools, only one came.  But to my surprise, our previous kyoutou also came!  I was surprised to find he’d been moved once I returned from my trip to the States, and just as surprised the day he popped up at school.  With the unexpectedness of it all, I didn’t even stand to bow and say farewell properly, so I was glad to have the chance now.

The food was good. There was 飲み放題、or all-you-can-drink, but there were only 2 non-alcoholic beverages: oolong tea and mango juice.  I had some tea, then wanted something different, but not mango juice.  Not because I don’t like it, but I don’t particularly like juice during meals.  So I asked a teacher if one of the items on the drink menu, white peach something or other, was strong.  She said it wasn’t.  She said she was surprised by the fact that I don’t drink because she was under the impression that people from Latin America liked to drink.  I thought that was pretty funny.  Really, I think that with Hispanic people it’s more of a macho thing.  A manly man drinks! is the idea.  That’s the impression that I have anyway, so it struck me as funny that that teacher had the idea “Latin Americans are big drinkers.”

The Loteria card “El borracho” really doesn’t help. ^o^;;;

The really fun part was the 二次会 (nijikai) meaning after-party. Sometimes the nijikai is another restaurant, or an izakaya, but finally, for the first time since I’ve been here, it was karaoke! I can’t sing very well (and should apologize to GACKT every time I butcher one of his songs) but I love doing it! It gets me pumped up and hyper!

One of the teachers asked me to sing the first song, and she just said, “Madonna? ‘La Isla Bonita?’  ‘Papa Don’t Preach?'”  I was already internally LOLing at the suggestion of opening the karaoke session with Madonna, but…those songs…^o^; So I said “La Isla Bonita” was fine (I do like that song).  So it began.  Some teachers picked some songs in English.  They seemed amused by the fact that I didn’t know Billy Joel’s “Honesty.” Then another teacher picked Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” and said there were parts she might not remember, so could I help out?  I know the song, but besides the “Would you ~ if I saw you in heaven” parts I didn’t really remember the melody and was winging it. >o< Usually I can catch the rhythm in songs pretty quickly, but since the music on karaoke versions is usually slightly different from the original, if the percussion is changed it throws me off.

I could tell the teachers were singing old songs, so I wondered if they’d be bored during my second song, GACKT’s “dears,” which was neither old enough nor famous enough for them to know it.  The other song I wanted to sing was GACKT’s cover of the original Gundam theme song, 「哀戦士」(“ai senshi”), but since that song says things like “the color of blood is strewn all over the earth” and “the men who go to die” I wasn’t sure if it was an appropriate song to sing. ^o^ But when then the one teacher picked “Tears in Heaven,” and all the teachers were commenting on how Clapton wrote it for his dead son, I figured songs about death weren’t necessarily bad.  But when another teacher sang the theme of Galaxy Express 999, I figured it would be okay to sing an anime theme song, plus figured they would all know it, which indeed, they did. Well, as I was singing they were saying 「かっこいい!」(“kakkoii,” meaning “cool”) so I think they probably had never heard GACKT’s version of it, which is waaaaaay faster than the original.

The teachers also seemed amused to know that I liked GACKT and had been a fan since before coming to Japan.  I joked that I wanted to marry him, and kyoutou said, “Oh, so that’s why you came here.”  LOL  Though I think other teachers may have thought I was serious though.  ^_^;;;

Well, I’ll end this post with a song that one of the teachers sang that I liked, 「天城越え」”amagi goe.”  There were some others that I liked, but I can’t remember their titles nor bits of lyrics now. ^_^; Anyway, enjoy!