My good friend from Manchester, Julian, came back for a 2-week visit with his girlfriend, and he graced his humble old stomping ground Hiratsuka with a couple of passes through the drinking establishments with yours truly.
His first time out, last Thursday, ended in typical (read: bad) form for any night out drinking - three of us slumped in a karaoke booth wailing away at hair metal music until 2:30am, with a 6:30am alarm to get to work.
Friday saw me somewhat loopy and extremely exhausted doing quiz games with 15-year-olds, and getting to bed early so I could be in some semblance of shape for the big meet-up on Saturday night.
Saturday saw the whole gang getting back together, complete with all available SO's and heading out to the nearest cheap izakaya. After that, it was a run to ye olde bar Sad Cafe, a place where Ju left a large portion of each month's salary, and then back to the old, back-alley karaoke bar. This place is really dodgy, in the more-or-less red-light district and right next to a cheap, seedy-looking love hotel. Utandamura, baby! I managed to hold it together that night, Sayaka and I winding down around 3:30am while the karaoke raged on.
It was good to see Ju again, he's always the life of whatever party you invite him to. He might end up back here, but not teaching English. I think he does enjoy his current job as a tree surgeon (basically a sap who climbs 150ft into the air and lops of tree limbs while trying not to lose any of his own). He doesn't seem to be getting much intellectual stimulation, not surprising considering his co-workers being rural yokels whose idea of a holiday is driving to the next town over and drinking. I don't know what he's got planned, I doubt he knows either, but his lady will be headed back next year, which will be good for him.
Julian heads off Friday, so I doubt I'll get to see him before he goes. Such is life, I guess. He's always talking about a motorbike trip somewhere, I'll have to try to get to Europe one of these days to do it.