Ping Pang Pong

Last weekend was probably one of the best weekends I’ve had here in Japan, and I didn’t even have to go very far! Kris’ birthday was earlier in June, but his party was last Saturday. He invited many of his ALT friends and Japanese friends. It was a really great mix of cultures with plenty of food and open space to run around in. I have the injuries to prove it. 

At first it was a bit quiet. There was an obvious concern about language barriers, but Kate had the brilliant idea to play two truths and a lie. It worked really well in breaking the ice. Then, in traditional Japanese fashion, we all did self-introductions. After the ice had broken, we spend nearly the entire day climbing trees, playing Japanese elementary school games (similar to red-rover), kicking around a ball, racing, and other shenanigans in general. Two days later, my muscles are still sore.

The birthday boy and his cake

After the party in the park, many of us went to a few bars for drinks, where the Brits taught everyone else how to play “ping pang pong.” That was also a huge hit. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend it for sure!

We didn’t get back to Kris’ until 5am. Obviously, a good night. The sun rises here at 4:30am too, which added to the effect.

The best part was finally meeting Japanese my age to talk to and practice with. If anyone reading is among my new friends, it was a pleasure to meet you, and I hope to hang out soon! Many of them are eager to hang out in various places around the Tokyo area. Disneyland came up a number of times. I can’t wait!

Sunday was spent killing Kris and Carolyn in video games. Halo, Marvel vs. Capcom, Blur. I wouldn’t have done this weekend any other way.

Next weekend, the Star Festival.

All photos were taken by Carolyn Cole this weekend!

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