I'm playing a little bit of catch-up here, sorry. It's been a very busy past few days.

Beautiful Hitachi

Thursday I ended up going out with a few other ALTs for dinner, and then we hung out at the arcade. The department store next the to the station and our hotel was pretty cool - It had shopping for four floors, a grocery store in the basement, and restaurants and a bunch of games on the fifth floor. And the food was quite good, and as always, very pretty. The food in the picture below is not actually food - that's a cell phone charm that looked freakishly real.

Friday was the last day of Orientation, and we had to give our sample lessons. I get really nervous presenting in front of adults, though I'm ok with kids, so I was really anxious for the whole thing to be over. We were partnered up, and my partner kind of...winged his half? That was certainly interesting, heh. But overall we did fine, as did everyone else. No one got sent home. :)

After that, though, was the party. First we went to this gyouza bar that one of the previous ALTs really liked. I think there were about 30 of there at one point, because there were all the new ALTs, plus a bunch of foreigners that were already in the area, plus our bosses! Yeah, I met my branch head in a bar. It was very odd. But the gyouza was really good, and there was even a taco flavored one! Those were tasty.

After that, we hit karaoke. A few people declined or went back to hotel because they had to catch early trains, but we still had about 20 people in one room (and the room was meant for maybe 10-15). Most people sang English, but a few brave ones tried Japanese (and were really good!). It was a ton of fun and we didn't wrap it up until around 2am. And then in the lobby when we were paying and such, a few members of our group made friends with some Japanese guys that were getting their own room. It was great.

And that was the end of Hitachi Orientation. I am very glad it's over, though I already miss some of the people. We had a really good group. Luckily, a lot of people are still here in Hitachi, so I'm set with people to hang out with. The next few entries will be about my apartment and assorted other business, and then about the Hanami (Cherry Blossom Viewing). Lots to talk about!

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