Wednesday, March 16, 2005


This evening I met a friend for drinks - just the two of us, which was a change from the usual four or five - and at the bar, when we asked for one more glass of wine (we'd already gone through two carafes) they gave us another carafe, saabisu (free). I think they wanted to empty a bottle. Consequently coming home was a little more fraught with obstacles than usual, but it WAS NOT MY FAULT when that woman fell off her bicycle. She was carrying her umbrella sticking out and when she went past she whacked me with it. And then she fell off. Spectacularly.

I turned around, annoyed at being whacked, but as she hauled herself to her bleeding knees she apologised for hitting me. And then I thought, well, it's possible that I did wobble a little as I was walking, and maybe if I hadn't she wouldn't have hit me, so I apologised too. After all, this is Japan, the country of sumimasen. She assured me she was all right when I asked. I hope she really was, and that she wasn't doing one of those odd polite Japanese female things of "I'm fine, I'm fine!" before crawling to a hospital.

My friend and I had some interesting conversations tonight. We were talking about the expat experience. I told my friend about what Elizabeth wrote (thank you Ellizabeth!), and we had a deep and meaningful conversation. I'm sorry I can't remember most of it. But it was deep and meaningful, I promise you. You'll just have to imagine it.

Have you ever noticed how tricky memory is where alcohol is concerned? I have discovered, over the years, that if I can't remember something that happened/something someone said/something I said after I'd had two glasses of wine, all I need to do is to have two glasses of wine again, and it all comes back to me. The problem with tonight's conversation is that I don't think I want to have one and a half carafes of wine again. I can feel a hangover coming on already.

Another odd thing about this memory/alcohol thing: Why is it that after two glasses of wine I am perfectly capable of calculating the bill in my head, split amongst five people of whom two did not drink anything and one had only one drink and went home early leaving some money on the table, but after three glasses of wine I can't? And if I didn't drink anything, or had only one glass, I can't do it either? Does that mean that I went through mathematics classes as a child with my brain in a condition equivalent to how my brain is now after I've had two glasses of wine? (That could explain quite a lot, actually. I was an unreasonably cheerful child.)

After coming home, to get things back into perspective, I checked out the solar system. (Apparently this page does not work in Safari or Opera.) For a dizzy-making experience (also a quite boring one), try to find a planet by scrolling. Bet you can't.

I am not capable of sticking to one topic tonight, and trying to come up with a title for this post took longer than writing it did. It now seems perfectly obvious, of course.


Anonymous said...

I guess it's like the Eagles song, "Hotel California"--Some drink to remember, some drink to forget. ;^)

Hope that the girl on the bicycle was OK after hitting the ground!