Another Monday, another fun-packed weekend. So I'd be grateful for another weekend to recover from the last.
This was the final weekend for Neil in Japan, who returns to teh UK on Thursday. So, of course, we had to give him a good send off. First off, a night out in Takada starting with a nomihodai at Funai. As always, we fully abused teh system and drank way more than the cost of the nomihodai. The food was good too and Im pretty sure Kiwi Dave ate his body weight in Cheesy Potato.
After we were done in Funai, we crawled upstairs to PTA for a massive Karaoke session. I can;t remember all the tunes we sang, but I'm pretty sure we had some Rick Astley and Elvis in teh "Bye-Bye-Neil Mega-mix.
We finished around 1ish and a couple of taxis later we were back at Mel's place to sleep it all off.
We woke bright and early around 9ish and headed out for a greasy breakfast at Gusto. We went our seperate ways afterwards; Neil and Annie to Miyoko, Debs and Rowan to Niigata via Nagaoka, Mel to the baseball and I got the train back to Tokamachi and set too about preparing leaving pressies for Neil.
I had a few ideas, the best one being a T-shirt that summed up Neil's time in Japan. I'd been thinking of a slogan for the last couple of days and decided on one about onigiri. I had T-shirt printer paper and hunted down a T-shirt. On my travels I found another pressie for Neil in Musashi; a lightbaton as used by the people at roadworks.
So back at my flat, I set to and made this T-shirt:
Ryan made it to my place around 6.30 and we headed into Tokamachi for Neil's second night out. It was at the Beer Garden above Rapporto. They were having a sukiyaki tabehodai with nomihodai; all you can eat and drink from 3,500 yen, perfect!
We had some food and beer and I gave Neil his pressies. He loved the T-shirt but he and Ryan couldn't stop playing with the light-baton. Job done, ne?
We paced ourselves with the beer until last orders when we ordered more beer and shochu. Bad mistake as I was to find out an hour later.
So, onto Assh to drink more and play darts, but the walk there took some time. Neil wanted to use his light baton and he couldn't resist ducking into Video One and practising his Japanese for one last time.
Assh was busy so we had to wait to play darts. This was bad for me because the extra shochu was kicking in and I started getting dozey. Things from here get a bit hazy. At some point Keiko arrived direct from Disneyland and she had brought Omiyage. I remember the staff at Assh were a bit annoyed about this for some reason. I don't think I got to play darts. After we went to Ark for more drinks. Again, I was a fair bit dozey. Then we got taxis home; Neil and Annie to Erik's, Ryan to mine and Keiko walked home.
The following morning I again woke without a pounding hangover, just mild embarassment for falling asleep at the bars. Ryan left to go play footy at the Big Swan with Joe. I decided to stay in Tokamachi and join Kawaji FC for two and a half hours of footsal at Kawanishi Sports Plaza.
The Sports Plaza is tucked away high up in the mountains behind Kawanishi; so tucked away I couldn;t get signal on my phone (the horror!). We had three team of six and played a massive round-robin, so ten-twelve minutes of footy with fivesix minutes rest in between. I played mainly up front and on the wings so I could practise taking on people and shooting; the two parts of my game that desperatly need improving. My thinking is that if I can build confidence taking on people when playing with Kawaji, and keep that confidence when playing for Niigata ALT FC, then I'll be a better player. I guess we'll find out in teh Nagano tournament next month.
So, after two nights of heavy drinking and a big session of footsal, I could do with another weekend to sleep and recover.