December 11th, 2003


Tests I Haven't Passed Yet

Don and I just had an incredible dinner at the bar with the Greek name next door to our apartment. Wow! Wish I'd taken a picture of the bleu cheese salad and the oil-and-parsley pasta with smoked salmon and ginkgo nuts.

It was our second time this week to eat ginkgo nuts. We tried them first on Monday when we went to Kujira no Andy (the best restaurant in Kobe) and while I didn't get a picture of the ginkgo, the giant oysters, or any of the other 1,000,000 bites of pasta, homemade bacon, こぶちゃ, cucumber, miso dipping sauce, cheesecake, homemade rye bread, or homemade ice cream, I did get a picture of the appetizer. Believe it or not, the best thing about it was the dressing.

I could have this salad for every meal, every day.

Sunday, Don and I did our Japanese proficiency tests. (Mine shall clearly indicate a lack of Japanese proficiency.) Before and during the test (which kept us at Konan U. from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) we met old and new friends (including some Yamasaki folks). When we had filled in our last bubbles with our No. 2 pencils, we went to La Pausa イタメシヤ for cheap drinks. (¥180 wine!) Don took this picture with his mobile phone.

I'm biting my lip, because I seemed to think that looked cute. Ugh.

Then we spent two hours at Jumbo Karaoke, where we sang our hearts' content to an all-you-can-drink special.

Sara, a wailing good singer. She has a band!

Mary and Jason. (They're singing to their hearts' content.)

Don and me. See my new glasses?

From there, Sara was going to Shinsaibashi in Osaka for her boyfriend's coworker's birthday party (or something like that). The bar.. wow. I felt like I was in a movie. It was the size of Alaska and the shelves of spirits reached the unfathomably high (for Osaka) ceiling. Here's my drunken portrait of me and Scott, the birthday boy:

He's as nice a guy as he looks. Actually, everyone there was nice, and they're all Aeon employees. So they might have been my colleagues if Aeon hadn't passed me over. One guy came from Tarrant County! And another followed us home and slept on our guest futon.

I can't count how many new friends I made Sunday. I just hope I see them all again soon.

Here's one more silly picture before I say goodnight.

It's umeshuu, aka plum liqueur.