Niigata ALT FC are trying to raise money to help fund our trip to Saitama in January for the footy tournament, so Saturday saw the Niigata ALT FC Pub Quiz and Christmas Party.
A futsal session had also been arranged in the afternoon as training for the team, so I left Tokamachi early Saturday morning. I gave Keiko a lift, as she was coming to the party later, and picked up Rowan on the way too. The futsal was fun, but weeks of not playing started to show; I need to get back into training if I'm going to be fit for the tournament. After a relaxing onsen and some food we headed to the quiz night.
I captained a quiz team, 'Spaff', who were made up of me, Ben, Simon, Nick and a late Erik. We put in a lot of effort in the first half, but the half-time score round-up showed that we had only 9 points out of a possible 26. We were last. That didn;t put us off and we persevered with the second half. We did reasonably well but we weren;t expecting much. It was a complete surprise when they read out the name of the second-place. It was 'Spaff'! Our masterstroke of tactical genius had paid off! In the music round, spot the tune from a two-second snippet of the intro, we played our joker card. This allows you to double the points you score in a particular round, and in the music round you get one point for artist and one point for song title, so we had a potential 4 points per question! We did okay in that round, but playing the joker allowed us to catch up and overtake the other teams. The second-place prize was a gift boxset of Asahi beers which we split between the team.
With the beers I'd drunk during the quiz and prize beers afterwards, things start to get a little hazy. We had about an hour and a half between the quiz and the party. Being a member of the footy team I had to go and get changed into our 'party strip' of suit jacket, tie and shirt with footy shorts, socks and trainers. Since my suit, Rowan's suit and Joe's suit where in my car, we all meet there and got changed in the car park. Erik came too to drop his stuff off in my car. Joe was wise enough to bring a four pack to stop us from sobering up and realising how stupid we must have looked.
We made it to Immigrants's on time for the party. Having drunk my beers, it was time for G&T from the bar. I remember dancing a bit and drinking a bit but apart from that, not much else. I do remember the girls from the play turning up. They had rehearsals in Joetsu on Saturday afternoon and had driven up especially for the party.
The party ended around 4am and Holly had offered her flat to anyone who wanted to stay. So we all bundled ourselves into a couple of taxis, grabbed a blanket at Holly's and found our little bit fo floor space.
We woke early Sunday morning because the girls had to get back to Joetsu for more rehersals. It was then I realised that I was in one part of Niigata, my bag was in another so I had to do the 'walk of shame' in my suit jacket and footy shorts. I got some interesting looks on the bus I can tell you.
So Erik and I got to my car, met Joe who said the events were success, I got changed, we met up with Keiko(she stayed in a hotel on Saturday night) and went shopping for Christmas cards until Rowan turned up. Then all four of us piled into my car and headed back to Tokamachi.
In the evening I met up with Debs and Erik for ramen and caught up with stories of what I missed in my drunken state. Then a quick stop off at Laox to buy a PS2. Well, I already had a copy of Winning Eleven 8 (note to geeks: Winning Eleven is the japanese name for Pro Evolution Soccer) and I've arranged a DVD night tonight so I need a player. So, after wrapping most of the pressies I'm sending back, I had a little sesh. I've missed Pro Evo and this latest version is almost perfect. You lot back home are in for a treat when Pro Evo 4 comes out. Then I rang Helen before going to bed.
Today has been another day of cancelled lessons. The lessons are the first after the exams so the teachers want to talk about the exams and give marks back. Still, gives me chance to catch up with my blog and plan for the Christmas lessons.