Monday, November 03, 2003

Halloween party was this Saturday. Now in Japan no one really celebrates Halloween except for us expats, and we had a little party at Tropicoco's. (Tropicoco's is a Mexican bar here in Usa, at which I frequently hear a lot of Salsa music-see previous post). And it wasn't just foreigners, a lot of Japanese people got into the fun as well.
Last year I went as George Bush, and tried to do some political humor, but unfortunately I'm not as clever and quick witted as I like to think I am, and most of my little jokes died. This year I was planning on doing the same thing. I had the Bush mask all ready to go, but at the last minute I decided wearing that suffocating mask all night was more trouble than it was worth, and I decided to just go without a costume.
Have you ever been to a Halloween party in which you're the only one without a costume on? You feel pretty stupid, don't you? I tried to make up for my lack of costume by just turning on the old Swagman charm. Although I did feel a little bit out of place, I didn't let that stop me from having a good time.
I don't usually drink at these events, and as the night gets late, a sober driver is often a very popular person. I ended up agreeing to give 3 different people rides home. I'm a nice guy and don't mind doing this usually, but it does mean all 4 of us have to agree to leave at the same time, which can be kind of a head ache. And especially when someone has been drinking, it can be very little difficult to pry them away from the party. It was after 3 AM by the time we got everyone together and out of there.
Dropping off my last friend, she invited me in for a cup of tea. (Honestly, it was just a cup of tea!). Sometimes it's the subtle things in life that really make a huge difference. She lives in an apartment on the second floor, and like me she lives out in the countryside. There is very little light pollution, so we could see the stars very clearly from her balcony. It had been raining early that day, and it was still a bit misty, but we could see very well. And, also from her balcony, we could see all the roofs of the neighboring houses in the mist. And in the country side, the traditional Japanese architecture is still used, so it was a beautiful 4 AM view of these Japanese country houses in the mist with the stars out.

The next day was also a bit rainy. I had plans to go to another "Okagura" (See a few posts ago for a description of Okagura). This particular Okagura was supposed to be at the five storied Pagoda in Ajimu.
This Pagoda itself is pretty interesting. Usually outside of Kyoto you don't see these big beautiful Pagoda structures, and certainly not in Kyushu, but this one was built by a wealthy resident of Ajimu about 20 years ago, as his attempt to buy his way into heaven (according to town legend). So again, it's only 20 years old, not particularly historic, but it looks like an old beautiful building.
Apparently the Okagura had been called off because of the rain, which was slightly embarrassing for me because I had invited a friend to come out and watch it with me, and when we arrived no one was there. It was about 6 PM, already dark out, with the mist from the day's rain still around. But the pagoda had lights around it, so we could still see it through the mist. Really beautiful seeing it at night through the fog. And with no one else around, it was quiet and peaceful. Subtle things I guess.

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