The blessed day arrived, and I may have been a trifle worse for wear in the morning. As a result, I took it very easy during the time leading up to the wedding. I got up, got some breakfast, came back to the room, and relaxed. I figured I could navigate to the restaurant where the wedding would be, since I had been all over the area in the last couple of days, and I maps.google.com'd it, as well. I had a minor freakout over whether I had brought suitable clothes and toiletries, but it turned out I had it all under control. My suit was drycleaned, and I had enough personal cleanliness items between what I brought and what was provided with the hotel room. (I think I researched the current status of the "you're not allowed to bring shampoo on planes since it might be fruit-flavored liquid explosives" TSA rule, but ended up just buying a TSA-approved bag of toiletries. It was clear for their convenience, and nothing was so big as to engender the fear that I would try to blow up my plane with a can of Axe Body Spray.)
I headed out with plenty of time to get to the restaurant. Oh, wait, remember it's me we're talking about. In the time I thought it would take me to get there (and get there early) I had only reached what turned out to be halfway there. I kept going, since I had had good luck navigating up till then, and still had some confidence. Ten minutes later I was close to being late, and began to freak out.
And this is why you should visit Japan - I picked a person at random on the street and asked for help in my terrible, broken tourist Japanese. She didn't speak any English, but still helped me find my way with gestures and as much Japanese as I could fathom. This stranger saved my ass. Japan is a country full of strangers of this sort. Go visit, now.
So, I rush the rest of the way there -- I was going the right way, but hadn't counted on the distance -- and get there on time, if barely. The Waffle King tells me later that he was starting to worry when I showed, so that's a relief. And, I wasn't even the latest one there. The Australian delegation arrived after we were seated but before the proceedings.
Michael asked me how I was that morning, and I admitted to some corporeal weakness. They claimed none of their own, which I believe, though it makes me hate and fear them. I made introductions around the table, since I'd met half of them the night before and half that day: Akira, Kim, Darcy (though I think I called him Percy once or twice before he slapped it out of me) and Derek were the locals, folks Chris had met through his gig teaching English. I think they represented Japan, Australia, New Zealand and England. I was pleased Chris was in there on behalf of the States, though he might not enjoy that role.
The event was like so: we were at an Italian restaurant, taking up most of their first floor (and using the second for logistical purposes). Chris and Mizuki had a table to themselves up at the front of the joint, and the table in front of them seated their families. Two tables to their left were friends and Mizuki's extended family, and a table to the right was the English Speaking Ghetto Where We Put Whitey. You must forgive me, I've forgotten its proper name in Japanese. It sounds less oppressive in that tongue.
We were all seated and had some socializing, and then the Waffle King descended the stairs, resplendent in a wholly white tuxedo with some heft to it. Chris is a slight figure, and the tux bulked him out like a Kevlar vest. He looked pimp. However, his good looks were completely eclipsed, as were all other things in the room, when Mizuki entered the room in her gorgeous white dress and veil. Mizuki is already fairly adorable, and in her dress she was aesthetically devastating.
As far as ceremony went, it was direct and moving. There was no officiant, which I admire and respect. Chris proposed to Mizuki in front of everyone, and then they exchanged rings. Some goofy looking Westerner brought them the rings, and when Chris reminded him to actually open the box so he could get at the rings, he did. Stupid Americans. Mizuki's brother-in-law Ken did the announcing and did so bilingually, and Akira raised the first toast to the newlyweds. That was it.
Couture note: the couple changed from total killer formalwear into slightly less murderous formalwear midway through the evening, presumably for relaxation purposes. They still looked better than anyone.
Dinner was great. It was a little too rich for my poor ignorant tastes, but everything was tasty, and on at least one occasion I was able to make Amaya happy with my selective tastes. ("Are you not eating your pudding?" "No, would you like it?" [tortured pause] "Yes.")
The party broke up slowly, and we went out for more party, which is Japanese party style. That party was drinking and good times in increasingly-disheveled formal wear, and eventually featured karaoke ("it's not a Japanese wedding until..."). Mizuki, a former vocalist, blew the doors off the faux-English pub we drank in with her powers of song. I hit a few notes* myself, both there and the place we went afterward. Party after party after party is a good way to handle things, I think.
The honeymooners left after a good while, and despite my attempts to attract Mizuki's friend's attention with my karaoke skills, I headed home alone. Akira and I split a cab this time, to my feet's relief. I didn't mind walking around Osaka trashed at three in the morning, but I also didn't mind catching a lift once in a while.
--6:01 PM, EDT, Philadelphia, PA, and they like to roam the land
*: Johnny Mercer, "Moon River," Green Day, "Welcome to Paradise," Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, "Jackson," Puffy Ami Yumi, "Teen Titans Go!" Dream Academy, "Life in A Northern Town"
[ archives | front page ]