Sunday, April 03, 2005

Turning Japanese Part I

My 72 hours in Japan over Easter were, on the whole, more fun than exhausting. This should be qualified by mentioning that it took about 24 hours in total to get from Montreal to Mito and about the same amount of time to get back.

Andrew and I got to sit on the plane next to each other. Since his shoulders are the perfect height for me to sleep on, it made the 16 hours on various airplanes much better. Also we hung out and watched the movies Continental had deemed inoffensive enough to screen. Aside from being stuck in a chair for 14 hours in one leg, it was not too shabby.

The first night there all the folks who had come from North America as well as some people who had travelled within Japan went out to dinner together. Every course save dessert had crab in it, in many cases raw crab. I was extremely brave and got over my phobia about exoskeletons and ate some raw crab right out of the leg. Take that, seagulls!

The next night was the rehearsal dinner at one of Japan's oldest French restaurants. Miyuki's family and many of Adam's friends were there too, nearly filling the extremely ornate room to capacity. At this point the jet lag was getting to me and I think I may have dozed off at one point during dinner. The rehearsal dinner was followed by the bachelor's party. Though the boys were nice enough to invite me, I declined, giving up what was probably my only opportunity to go to one of these things. I made Andrew promise not to get too chummy with the strippers though. It seems there were no strippers, according to the very drunken account Andrew gave upon returning to the hotel at about 3 AM. He showed up covered in mud and complaining about having skinned his knee when he pantzed his brother. I asked him how he got so muddy and he muttered some stuff about aligator farms, ice flows and june bugs. Riiiiight. Surprisingly, he wasn't in such bad shape in the morning.

I couldn't sleep that night so at 6 AM I gave up and turned on the TV and watched the weirdest cartoon I have ever seen. I couldn't understand what was being said, but it featured either a kid or a monkey that could fly by farting. I think it was a kid because it appeared to be in kindergarten, where it broke a rabbit sculpture and its friends tried to fix it. One of its friends was always using a fake computer (he built it out of cardboard). Also, the kid's pants kept falling off and so he walked around in the nude a lot. If Jarry Falwell blew a gasket over teletubbies, he'd go totally apeshit over the frontal nudity in this children's cartoon.

I did more than just wedding things, not sleeping and tv watching. I also spent a lot of time shopping. If I owe you a gift in the next year, it will probably be something from Japan.

The actual wedding was confusing but very pretty. It was apparently a traditional Shinto ceremony. Check out the kimonos Adam and Miyuki wore:

Here are the Suslaks, Miyuki and her family in front of the shrine. This was just after the ceremony.
More photos to come.


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