Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Drunken Duck Halloween party 2014

The Mito duck throws an excellent Halloween party. As with last year, they really went all out. Around 150 people (my guess) dress up in full costume, American style (meaning that a lot of effort is applied). The entire bar is decorated, and a marquee is erected to create more party room. The staff were absolutely wonderful, and a few friends showed up I didn't expect to see. All in all, it was a great night. There's something about being in costume that allows people to feel more confident,  come out of their comfort zone and be more friendly, which creates an awesome atmosphere and a really silly time.

Friday, 24 October 2014


At the Yokohama Oktoberfest I arranged to see some old friends from Bristol:

From the same masters course, Michi is now working at a pharmaceutical company up in Iwaki, Alice is working at the French embassy in Tokyo, and I..... well, I'm still doing what I consider to be "gap year stuff".... hmm. In fact from those I've kept in touch with from my masters, everyone seems to have "made it in their career" in some aspect or another. I really need to play catch-up. Anyway, no bitter feelings, I'm inspired and motivated by the hard work and success of my former peers:

How can you not love these people? I can't wait to see those I spent so many fun Bristolian nights with slowly ruling the world.

Murrays Halloween partay

Scottish Chris, who lives in Fujishiro, threw a great halloween house party last weekend. The cool thing about being in a group of people predominantly Japanese and American, is that people make a huge effort when it comes to costumes. Can you guess what everyone is?

Pictures all taken by Francesca:

Robbie decided to give me a mini birthday shout-out. I pretended to be embarrassed whist secretly loving the attention:

Everyone found this guy really annoying for various reasons:

Freddy turned up dressed as an Ebola researcher:

Hopefully more people will upload photos from this party which I can steal for my own personal memory bank, aka. this blog post.


My friends threw me a surprise birthday party. yay! Always wanted one, it was so nice. I spent the couple days before it trying to figure out if anything had been arranged because people were being unusually flakey in my attempt to make plans, but I didn't want to assume anything was being planned, as I could be setting myself up for a fall. everyone waited at Robbies flat whilst I went for dinner with Riley. We had planned to go to the Duck for a couple drinks, but first she wanted to go by his place to grab a much needed wig-cap for my Halloween costume, and then, surprise. We had some cake and a couple drinks at Robros, and then went down to the duck where there was more cake. So, all in all, a lot of cake was consumed. Ironically I never got the wig cap, so was unable to wear my orange wig at the Halloween party we went to the following night.

Thanks team! Wish there were more pictures:

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

ALT Soccer Tournament

For a group of 20, we hired two mini-vans to drive across Japan from Ibaraki to Nagano. There, we took part in the ALT Kanto soccer tournament. It was a very expensive weekend, but it was well worth it. You might say it was a highly enjoyable weekend. You might just.

After volunteering to play for the Tochigi girls team, who needed a couple extra players, I learnt that my true calling in life is in fact soccer. For the first time having played, I discovered I'm a natural. I was also told by one of the less intimidated girls from one of the other teams that I play "aggressively". I scored two goals in two separate games, and had a very fun day.

In the evening, everyone who was a part of the tournament partied on down and I met some genuinely cool Alts from different parts of Japan. Although I've never been a lover of sports related events, it was one of the few things that filtered out a lot of Japanophile-otaku-weirdoes, and thus left a large group of relatively normal, nice, friendly people. How relieving, a home comfort I had almost forgotten about.

Anyway, I can count on Tommy's girlfriend, Mamina, to take a shit-tonne of photographs so that I don't have to strain my precious fingers by typing words which could otherwise be told through other means:

To quote "Withnail and I"; GET IN THE BACK OF THE VAN:

Aren't road trips just the best?:

Pre-game genkiness:

Warming-up on Saturday morning:

In the end, it didn't matter how hard we stretched. Our entire bodies were in immense pain for most of the next week following the tournament:

Riley and Yukiko lead the cheering:

The Ibaraki boys team having a meeting before their first of many defeats:

If John Dicks is there, you know its going to be a good time:

Many of the American players in our team had also never experienced soccer. luckily a photograph is something that captures a momentary still-image, creating the false illusion of talent:

Looking proud after realizing they are coming last:

Yukiko offers comfort to her injured boyfriend, AKA laurence:

Although he subscribes to the philosophy that "its the taking part that counts", his eyes say otherwise. Chris Gilbert, football hooligan:

Danyo wonders when the humiliation will be over as he looks for emotional and physical support:

well, we lost, but at least our haircuts are still great..... but were they really?:

Saitama super crew. AKA Saiborgs:

Have you heard of "zooming in"?:

After realising that he might not be able to pursue a career as a professional football, in his desperation, Gilbert turns to being a gigalo:

Everyone was pretty tired after a whole day of playing sports. We sports pretty hard you might say:

Those mini-vans doe: