On Friday night, I attended the JETAANY Shinnenkai (新年会 "New Years Party") at Naniwa in Midtown. We sat on the floor of a traditional Japanese tatami room and ate sushi and fish and beef nabe (鍋 hotpot). Very 懐かしい (nostalgic) of my days in Japan. The 飲み放題 (all-you-can-drink) definitely helped to up the festive factor. 😉 I can't believe it's only been six months since coming back to the States, but sometimes my life in Japan seems like a distant fantasy. I won second prize in the raffle drawing, an autographed copy of The Accidental Office Lady, by Laura Kriska. First prize was a 1 year basic membership at the Japan Society. The evening could not have been any more perfect, except for the lack of karaoke. I read the whole book today (Sunday), and really identified with Laura's experience in Japan, and her descriptions of the culture and the environment really made me miss Japan again.
On Saturday, I trekked out to Brooklyn to attend my co-worker, Galit's, birthday party in an amazing loft in an otherwise desolate corner of Greenpoint. Definitely worth the trip and what seemed like a 50-mile hike from the Lorimer stop on the L-train. Shame on those who chavved out on the party! Chav is an established term, but "chav out" is an expression that I am nearly single-handedly trying to spread.