Company Night Out

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Last night was a "knees-up" with the office clan. My knees stayed down, pretty much, and I headed home before last train while Tod and the boys went off for nijiikai and probably sanjikai at various bars and hostess clubs in Roppongi (he's still sleeping so I can't ask him).

The party was an increasingly rare occasion of corporate-fielded drunkenness. Back in the giddy Y2K days when I was working for Perot, there were drinking nights all the time--mostly informal but plenty of sponsored ones--as the myriad short-term expats drowned their sorrows. Now those folk are gone and the remaining gaijin are happily here for the long haul. Quite a contrast to the situation three or four years ago.

Last night's event was in honor of two high-ranking visitors, Robin and Brian, and seemed to be going on in the traditional style. Lots of beer, snacks, and loud conversation at an izakaya near the office until they kicked us out.

Next, a tipsy conference ensued outside the izakaya, as usual. The clever few faded away without saying goodbye while the rest debated about where to go next. Kylie and I wouldn't leave without saying goodbye to our partners and so were subject to much sweet persuasion to come along which we ignored.

Our refusal was a great relief to Tod and Andy, I'm sure, who were not constrained by our presence. Having your wife tag along to the hostess club is such a wet blanket, even if she is enjoying herself and chatting up your coworkers. Wherever they went off to, they came home before three this morning, but I am sure that Brian was out all night--he will be getting on a plane to London about now, assuming he made it back to his hotel in time to get the shuttle to the airport.

So even though it's not as common as it once was, the office social scene still follow the same plan. Lots of drinking, escapes and escapades, and one person needing to catch a plane home.

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This is the finest piece of writing on Japanse way of company drinking. It is sometimes fun if its is not held every day.

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