The past couple days (Birthdays etc.)

Friday night’s Birthday Party was brilliant indeed.

Even though I am still here for another couple weeks, it had a certain feeling of grand season finale: what with the improbable juxtaposition of characters plucked from miscellaneous episodes of my life: past, current and hopefully future.

The mood and settings weren’t unlike the last time we had a party at Cozmo’s, in a good way. This time around: no drunken ex-girlfriend discussing the size of my manhood with friends, but lots of friends and friends-of-friends having a good time and mingling across groups, much drunken DJing with Atsushi and Ian (escaped from Sapporo for the weekend), unexpected gifts and free drinks pouring on me ceaselessly and, most of all, Hako clad in her geisha kimono bouncing around to the music, being her usual upliftingly cute self…

A very drunk subgroup essentially made of Ian, Deny, Rie and myself then headed out for Shibuya’s very own no-name bar (aka the Chandeliers Bar, aka the Red Room etc) whence the merriness kept on going until (very) late, although we shall keep the late remainders of that evening under an opaque veil of virginal mystery.

Expectedly, the following Saturday was a bit more low-key. Movies huddled on a bed most of [what was left of] the day. Hawaiian burger lunch/dinner in Shibuya. Fruity cocktails in Harajuku. Early sleep at home.

Sunday afternoon was both Saeko’s and Etsuko’s birthday party, as well as the day of my own actual birthday. All duly celebrated in much fancy wine-drinking and buffet-eating at a gorgeous floating restaurant in Shinagawa. Some of us then went for tea and dessert nearby and I finally left to attend my own birthday dinner in a more intimate settings.

I had purposely kept my evening very mellow and was just planning to meet Rie at Araku for a couple drinks around 9pm. Noticing how unusually busy the place was for a Sunday evening, we realized that day was Golden Gai Festa: 5,000 yens would get you a pass that’d let you get into most of the tiny Golden Gai hole-in-the-wall bars with no seating charge and one drink free. Additionally, you could ask for your card to be stamped at each place and get some sort of reward upon collecting all 30-some stamps (presumably a very fresh wet towel to alleviate next day’s massive hangover). The festa had officially begun at 1pm and by evening, a lot of people were actually already on their way home. With only three hours left to go, we still decided to give it a go, figuring it was as good a way to cap the day as any other…

We didn’t regret. It was the best bar fun we’d had in a long time. Everybody was friendly and having a good time: a great mix of ages, styles and interests… We got to see a dozen such tiny bars with their peculiar themes and strange decoration before finishing the night at Albatross‘ Golden Gai branch: same cool people and cozy atmosphere, marginally more seating space (say, 10 people instead of 6)…

The rest of the week was predictably spent recovering and catching up with work. Still managed a couple drinks with Sandy in the middle of Thursday’s wild thunderstorms, discussing relationships, God and viruses… Also met up with the lovely M. yesterday, just long enough to learn that her favourite way of procrastinating at the office involves talking dirty to her coworkers, all the while pondering what “only 60% of what he wanted” could mean exactly, in the context of an overeager Italian suitor’s love nest…

Unfortunately gotta do some work-related stuff all day tomorrow, so no big plans this weekend. As of now.


  1. Thanks Daphne,
    Actually, I’m back in Paris in a dozen days. If you’re stopping by Paris for at least a couple hours, let’s definitely do dinner or coffee.
    Have a fun and resting holiday !

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