Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Welcome to Japan: Part 3

Random crappy photo of Tokyo at night. Enjoy?

Monday afternoon a group of us fellas from Florida decided to go pre-game at one of the hotel`s bars. We all shared a round of drinks and some weird vegetables that we accidentally ordered. The Japanese are EXPERTS at manners and service. Which made me feel guilty when I discovered that Japan is not a tipping culture. That`s right, there are no tips for the doorman, cab driver, waiter, bartender, and the list goes on forever. However, it`s hard to swallow, well not financially :)

Self-Photo: greatness!
When you compare the level of service you receive in Japan to America, the Japanese would have been doing us a favor if they went farther than Pearl Harbor. To all American workers that receive tips: 90% of you are ungrateful, rude, lazy, and undeserving of any tips when compared to the Japanese! This of course does not include my loving sister who is quite a wonderful server. No wonder foreign tourists in America don`t feel comfortable tipping. If you do venture to Japan, don`t even think of tipping as the mere idea would insult their pride and integrity.

Mr. Dansby adding to the entertaining conversation.

Ok I`m calm now. In the evening, 900 of us incoming JETs were treated to a welcome reception. This equates to FREE FOOD & BOOZE! Yes my friends, hoards of Asahi beer, saki, and whiskey were there for all, and oh yeah there is a feast too. I have no clue on what I ate, but I enjoyed it.

Asahi `Dry` Beer...a personal favorite.

Japanese culture is welcoming to casual partying. There are teachers in every school who have the duty (and honor) of being the school`s party planner. In fact, for most schools, the equivalent of $20-$30 is taken out for the `enkai` or office party.

My first encounter with Japanese style karaoke came later in the night at Big Echo. Pretty much ¥3600 ($36 US) got me 2 hours of singing, laughing, and unlimited drinking with recently acquired friends from Australia, California and Florida all within the confines of our comfortable booth like room. A few Asahi beers, several umeshus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umeshu), and a hairy man standing on the couch waving his tamborine made for a wonderful evening. I walked in hating it, and walked out a SINGING SENSATION! Much love to karaoke!

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