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Dr John Hawkins

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Hiroshimakenjinkai

Posted on 2008/02/18 20:35:25 (February 2008).

[Friday 8th February]
Has the usual end-of-the-week beer and pizza thing after work today, at which a few of us hung around for a fairly protracted length of time, and consumed a few beers in the process.

Once finished there I headed home, where I met Chie, who persuaded me into coming along with her to the Hiroshimakenjinkai - the monthly night out for Japanese people originating from Hiroshima but now living in or around London. It started off at the usual venue - a pub near Marlyebone - but thankfully this time round there were no bag thefts or visits to the police station.

We stayed at the pub for a couple of drinks, before the general consensus was formed that we should all move on to a Chinese restaurant nearby - apparently a semi regular occurence at the 'kenjinkai. The place was called Phoenix something or other (Palace perhaps?) and was apparently a one time favourite hang-out of the Blairs (well, at least there were pictures of them on the wall). One of the senior members of the 'kenjinkai took it upon himself to do the ordering for the whole table, and consequently I didn't end up eating very much, instead drinking a lot of nasty cheap white wine which I also didn't order (it was one of those places where the waiters kept filling up your glass). I didn't feel particularly the worse-for-wear at the time, but the next morning the folly of this arrangement became painfully apparent.

Anywho, throughout the course of the evening I found myself sat next to a guy, who as it turns out wasn't actually from Hiroshima, but actually hailed from Tokyo. As fellow outsiders we ended up talking quite a lot, and our new found friendship developed into a bizarre dynamic. He, it transpired, was an estate agent (I have made my views on these people clear on a number of occasions), and inevitably it came out that I was a vegetarian, which seemed to engender in him an apparently equivalent desire for critical observation. So in an odd way we spent most of the evening being really quite rude to each other. What was odd is that we would both switch backwards and forwards between English and Japanese, whenever we were speaking Japanese we'd both be extremely polite and formal with each other, but should we want to say something offensive we'd always do that in English.

After the Chinese restaurant, we ventured off to a sort of Japanese club - a bar that stays open well after normal closing time, but seemingly only for Japanese people. Chie has been several times before, tonight was my first time. It was a weird atmosphere inside, a bit like a secret society or something, and what with it having no windows to the outside world, it was easy to imagine we were actually back in Japan.

It ended up as a very late night - I think by the time we got home it was somewhere around 4AM.



Comment 1

Vegetarianism is a noble choice. Estate Agentism is for twats.

Posted by Rob Lang at 2008/02/19 09:17:44.

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