Time to go drink under the trees!

Party announcement at the bottom »

How do you do when you completely and unabashedly forgot an ex’s birthday? With no valid excuse whatsoever, if only a very busy day and a genetic inability to remember dates correctly (I swear I thought it was tomorrow). And don’t tell me suck it up, apologize and get a nice gift: she’s quite the vindicative type too. After all, she made sure to wait until the following morning at 8am to inform me that I was officially an arsehole… you know, just making sure I had no wiggle room for white lies…

Which brings me to the problem of my day so far: what to do…

Which you probably do not give a rat’s ass about. And truthfully, who am I to blame you.

But let’s not ruin the mood. I guess we’ll just have to double the usual morning tequila sunrise and consider our quota for public humiliations and shameful exposures fulfilled for the whole month. And that’s always a good thing: you don’t really want to stock up on past dues for these kind of quota.

Cue mandatory sakura blossom speech.

Everybody will have, by now, noticed that the sakura blossom is upon us. At least I know I have. But I would have little excuse, seeing how every other street in my neighbourhood instantly turned a rosy white color and I no longer see my breath upon waking up (which means either one of two things: my new toothpaste is working much better than the previous one. Or it’s getting warmer). That, and also half the trains on the Yamanote have been busy giving day-by-day updates about the state of the sakura front (unlike, say, some people who could have at least hinted that there was an important upcoming date, last time we talked).

There are basically two schools of hanamist:

Some will defend the inscrutable beauty and zen symbolism of the spectacle, and take comfort in their ephemeral regularity, seemingly changeless, yet each time unique. Those people, particularly the gaijin among them, will tend to grow copious amount of facial hair and put on traditional samurai armors to charge at locomotives on their horse, thus ensuring an edifying finale where they can get a last dying glimpse at the sakuras down below, before heading out for the land of their ancestors.

Others contend it’s the perfect season to gather an extended circle of friends, cover entire parks in ugly blue plastic tarps and proceed to drink oneself blind on cheap liquor. Warmer weather is further interpreted as an invitation to safely pass out in the outdoors without running the risk of waking up as a giant sake-flavoured popsicle.

Results are essentially the same for both: feeling of enlightenment, possible visual hallucinations, sense of having just witnessed the most extraordinary blossom ever (usually followed by death or loss of consciousness).

Not so surprisingly, especially if you’ve seen the movie, the former trend seems to be on a steep decline. Then again: you try to maintain a legacy, when your principal occupation as a group is to charge in hopelessly outnumbered battles before eviscerating yourself on the battlefield: save for the occasional deluded alcoholic foreigners, new recruits are extremely scarce to come by.

The railway workers and champions of macadamized modernity have won. And therefore nowadays, drunk debauchery in public park it is.

Which is where you, all three of you faithful tokyoite readers, need to reopen your eyelids for a second and extend some of your attention my way:

We are, rather unoriginally I may say, throwing a little Hanami Party in Yoyogi park this Sunday (the 10th). There will be food (including yours, hopefully) and drinks (there again: along with yours), many merry people and even music to go along. In essence, not so different from staying at home and drinking off that bottle of Jack Daniel’s you’re holding, just with many more friendly people around you, giving you that artificial sense of social adequacy we all yearn for. Oh yea, and sakura blossoms too.

So please, feel free to join us, and bring your friends, and your friends’ friends, and… well, you get the drift. Party spot is not quite well located yet (depends mostly on what we can get on the day), but it will be somewhat in the vicinity of the sakura near the northern side of the park (past the fountains). Feel free to contact me on my keitai at keitai at unknowngenius dot com on Sunday if you feel like joining and cannot find us.

And if you were to pass on the invite and go revel in sakura-contemplating drunkenness somewhere else in the city, I wish you a happy hanami nonetheless. And remember: whatever you do, do not attempt to swim across the Tama river… It might sound like a good idea at the time, but it’s really muddy at the bottom and barely waist-deep anyway.

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