Yesterday was a nice night out, the first time in a long time, the first time in a big group anyway. I normally just go out with one close friend. Yesterday there were six of us and we got to blow of steam about the school, course and teachers. They say it is boring to ‘talk shop’ and a sign of no personality but to a degree you have to get things off your chest. Talking about it all, there’s going to be some people I miss and I’ll feel sad about it from time to time, but it certainly is time to move on. I’ve felt that for a while.
We went to a BBQ joint near the local train station, a seedy looking place on neither the right side or the wrong side of the tracks, because it was right under them. You could hear and feel the trains rattle over the place as we ate. It took us a while to get there too as one of our number had gone ahead with no line of communication available and we didn’t know exactly which place he had gone too. “On the McDonald’s side, under the train tracks” his message said. It seemed specific, so I didn’t question him further on it when I received it, but getting to that spot we could see that there wasn’t anywhere that was immediately obvious. We wandered around a few places that fit the description if various criteria were stretched on a rack and interrogated with sharp sticks, popping our heads in and asking the waiting staff if there was another foreigner in their establishment. It triggered a few laughs. Eventually we found the place, around the back of a pachinko parlour which we had incorrectly assumed was all that occupied that particular building.
Once inside, we found the largest entrance and foyer I’ve ever seen for a restaurant, and we seemed to be the only people in the entire place. That meant we got quick service and we could be as loud as we wanted. So it turned out to be a good night. We ordered an all-you-can-drink menu and when it was done we moved on to a bar for one more. We talked politics (the problems of Trump), teachers, and students, movies and books, travel and dreams. All in all, a great stress relief. I would like more nights out, but they always involve lots of travel by train and bus, which is kind of awkward. I miss the days back in the UK when we would walk into town, do our business and then walk off the alcohol as we headed home. It seemed more social, more of a night, and not an event – a word that often fills me with dread.
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