Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bonenkai Of M5

Short note: For the third straight entries, this is another non-halal entry. I promise the next one would be a normal one haha.
A bōnenkai (忘年会, literally "forget the year gathering") is a Japanese drinking party that takes place at the end of the year, and is generally held among groups of co-workers or friends. The purpose of the party, as its name implies, is to forget the woes and troubles of the past year, usually by consumption of large amounts of alcohol. A bōnenkai does not take place on any specific day, but they are usually held in December (taken from Wikipedia).
To directly translate the event as "Forget-Year Party" sounds a little bit funny; so, I thought it would be much better to call it a "Year-End Party". To be honest, I rarely join my Japanese classmates for outings for the past two years plus, be it for a meal or bowling session for instance. However, there are just a few months left before we graduate and go on our separate ways, and I should not let my time in college just gone to waste.
In fact, after this bōnenkai I attended, I realised that they are actually nice people. The trick is how to figure out the ways to overcome the thin wall that exists between the Japanese students and us, the international students.
When the class monitor asked the whole class about those who wanna attend this bōnenkai a week earlier, about half of the class confirmed their attendance. But on that day itself, when he did a reconfirmation with everyone, only four people, including the sensei raised their hands lol. Worse still, he had made reservations for more than twenty people. So, he sat there repeating the line, "訳分からん" ("I don't understand this!") lol!
From this incident, I was truly amazed by the ability of the Japanese to "put-airplane" on people haha.
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Before everyone got crazy, a toast (kanpai) is a norm in every
bōnenkai.
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They usually start with draught beer or 生ビール (nama biru).
Despite all the havoc earlier that day, there were twenty-one of us who actually attended the event in the end-lah haha. That is exactly half of the number of students in our class. Too bad Professor Kondo, who is our class teacher couldn't make it as he had been attending various bōnenkai for the past three-consecutive days lol. As his replacement, we had one of the lab assistant, Mr Yanagisawa to join us.
Here are some of the food we had on that night.
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Starters for the night, Chinese vermicelli with sliced bacon and cucumber. Apparently, Chinese vermicelli is also known as cellophane noodle haha.
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Super thick char siew but somehow it tasted good.
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Yakisoba
with topped with seaweed, which was really good. One of the best I have tasted.
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No nomikai will be complete without beer. Yebisu beer by Sapporo Brewery.
From pictures of the food, I shall proceed with pictures of people on that night.
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Table 1: From left: Shimizu, Lab Assistant, Matsuya, Kimura, Inaniwa, Kurashina, Watanabe, Maruyama.

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Table 2: From left: Tanaka, Yamaki, Kondo, Yamazaki, Yamazoe, Minami, Toyama.

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Table 3: From left: Tsutsumi, Fujimaki, Saisu, Hasegawa, Tamaki.
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Camwhore begins. Kondo (in grey sweater) at the back will always show the peace sign whenever we brought out the camera lol!
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The class monitor, Matsuya (left) and his assistant, Kimura (right).
It wasn't long before everyone started to get high and let loose everything.
This was the time when I could rationalise why the Japanese are so into this bōnenkai thingy. Two individuals might not talk often and their relationship could be just like one of those "hi-bye" kind, but when everyone gathered at such event and from the way we talk to each other, it seems that we have known each other for years. I was kinda surprise to see them doing random things without having much reservations, because whenever there are foreigners present among the group, they tend to be more reserved. Needless to say, I joined them doing crazy stuff as well haha.
No wonder they call it "Forget-Year Party" lol!
I got to honestly admit that I wasn't that strong when it comes to consuming alcohol, as I see some of my classmates were drinking one glass after another glass of beer and other alcoholic beverages, which included sake and chuhai as if they were drinking sky juice. But for some, they drank just one sip and passed it to the others as they cannot take alcoholic drinks. My class monitor was already half-KO-ed after just half glass of beer haha!
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The first person to pengsan was Toyama (furthest in the background), who placed his head onto the table just when the party was gonna begin.
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Yamazaki who was quite high already by then, went around holding a pitcher to pour beer for everyone.
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Shimizu went one step further by taking the whole tray of yakisoba and finished it lol!

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Tamaki and Yamazaki on a drinking
battle to see who would finish their beer first.
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Hiroki (most right) was clearly drunk already judging from his body language haha!

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Same goes to Kurashina (second from right) and Matsuya (most left).
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Watanabe straight away took the whole pitcher and drink haha!
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Sharing the pitcher with Kurashina haha!
In the end, we realised that we drank only the foam =.=
However, I think Kurashina over-drank that night, because when the party was at the ending part, he started to show weird and funny actions haha. I mean, it is normal to see him smiling because even in the class, he smiles a lot. But on that night, it just looked unusual. Whenever he started to sing a song, somebody took the face towel and throw to his face. It happened for countless of times lol. Pity boy.
But singing is still normal. What happened during the final part was hilarious. We had pineapple for desert, and he plucked the head of the pineapple, and put it on top of his head. He then proudly told everyone there, "I am a pineapple!" haha!
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Pineapple man. Easily the best shot of the night haha!
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Pineapple man had a great fall and he fell asleep lol.

There were more crazier stuff happened that night, but I shall save the details here lol! I think the restaurant owner must be regretting for accepting our reservations for that night. We were easily the noisiest group in that small restaurant, hands down. It was as if we own the whole restaurant, judging from the noise level we produced that night haha.
Luckily, it was just half of the class who were there. Just imagine if all forty-two of us went there. I am sure we would get kicked out halfway through the party by the uncle haha. Nevertheless, everyone had great fun and I'm glad that I had a memorable first bōnenkai in Japan. Here's more to such event in the future.

8 comments:

~Live Life~ said...

I bet u went drunk by looking at your face turned so blushing red...

Sounds very fun...=) and ur Japanese friends' expressions were really "animated"...watched too much anime i guess??

Ken said...

Wow...Seems that u enjoyed urself very much. How's the foam? Nice? LOL

Ur class has no lenglui meh? All are guys...=.=

kae vin said...

hahah.

Beer can never make me drunk :P

Did you have any hard liquor?

calvin said...

@ ~live life~:
yeah, i guess i was a bit drunk lol!
but good thing that i managed to get back to my room in one piece in a snowing night haha =P

yup, it was really exciting and we really enjoyed ourselves :D

calvin said...

@ ken:
the foam? haha, i guess you got to try it yourself xD

i'm in the mechanical engineering faculty, so too bad that there's not a single girl in my class >.<

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
trying to say that you are strong lah?
didn't really take much hard liquor, just some sake and yomeshu hahaha =P

fufu said...

ikki ikki ikki........

ohhh... miss the great times i had with my friends in japan ><

calvin said...

@ fufu:
another one would be, "nonde, nonde, nonde, nonde..." right? xD
i think i will feel the same ten years from now >.<