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Dr John Hawkins

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Out for the evening

Posted on 2005/08/29 07:01:13 (August 2005).

[Wednesday 24th August]
It had been a taxing week thus far, wracked with indecision over my future career and so on. After several days stuck in the house I decided I was quite determined to get out, so in the evening I went out with the whole family - Chie, her parents and Yuka too.
Started off at Molly Mallone's, the Irish pub in Hiroshima, which is in danger of becoming a bit of a local for me (I think the guy behind the bar recognises me now). After this went to Gindaiko, a robata-yaki place I'd been to once before. I'm not sure of the exact meaning of robata-yaki, but it seems to involve grilling stuff somehow. Oh and rather superbly the chef hands dishes to you on a giant sort of paddle thing, looks a bit like an oar from a rowing boat.
After this Yuka and Chie's Mum headed home, whilst me, Chie and her Dad went to a "snack" place. This is a style of Japanese bar which is typically ran by a hostess - in this case a rather charming middle aged lady. She put me in mind of the stereotypical English pub landlady - absolutely nice as pie most of the time, but you're frightened to death of getting on the wrong side of her. This kind of bar relies heavily on repeat customers, rather than the casual "wandered in off the street" type. So it transpired we were actually in Chie's grandfather's regular hang-out, and indeed he even had his own bottle of Sho-chu behind the bar. The other thing I learnt about this type of bar is that you don't seem to have much choice over what - or how much - you drink. The hostess just suggests drinks to you, and I for one was too afraid to disagree. My glass was constanly being refilled without me asking at all, and as a result, particularly as I'm relatively inexperienced with sho-chu drinking, I became quite fiendishly drunk by the end of the evening. I had the distinct impression I'd had a little too much to drink, and was staggering a bit on the way home. Still, on the plus side at least it stopped me thinking about my career for a bit! I am beginning to understand why the Japanese are such big drinkers...

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