Karisome Otome and All That Jazz

The title of this blog is something of a terrible pun. I’m sorry.

This week was the second or third week into spring break, so naturally everyone’s been traveling. After having gone to Nagasaki and while waiting for my trip to Tokyo I didn’t go anywhere. In order to stay from going absolutely nuts I gathered together all the people who are still around here, or maybe they gathered me up, and we spent the majority of the week at my Korean friend’s house. Either that or watching the jazz circle perform.

Thursday was a performance by one of the jazz groups at an お好み焼き (okonomiyaki, a.k.a. the most delicious food in Hiroshima) shop. I went with two of my friends and we met the Korean there. We ate our okonomiyaki, enjoyed the show, then after spending far too long outside of a 7-11 chatting we ended up chilling at Oshimao for a lack of anything better to do. It was here that my Korean friend, the one who had invited me to join the jazz circle in the first place, told me they were having a concert for all of the new members as well as a party on Sunday. He wanted to introduce me to all the other members.

Since the party was at an izakaya, he had to call one of the other members so that the RSVP number would be correct. This is where I got kind of mad. While he was on the phone with the other member, apparently she said, “But she doesn’t have any other friends aside from you.” Was that the kind of attitude they had toward new members? The more likely answer was, is it because I’m a foreigner? A bit ironic that she should use that kind of thinking on a Korean. I’ve heard him complain about being a foreigner, but all I do when I hear that from him is glare. He complains about people not speaking in polite form to him. At least they bother to use Japanese with him.

That was my attitude going into the jazz concert. Apparently all the other people still in Saijo were busy with whatever, so I ended up going alone. The people I did know in the jazz circle were either late or actually in the performance, so I ended up sitting in the back of the audience alone, brooding.

Quick should-mention: the majority of the performances were really good. All of the wind instrument players were really good. Their tone quality is nearly perfect. My Korean friend said it was because they have all been really diligent at their instruments since they started. That’s the Japanese way, after all. He felt the need to add that I should practice more and perhaps study more theory. He’s always harsh, but in the end I always want to spite him by showing him I’m better than he thinks so I suppose it ends up working out.

My so-so mood continued until we were all at the izakaya. There was another new member who I’d previously met sitting at the same table as me. He didn’t particularly want to be there. Our friend who had invited us both to join the jazz circle picked us up and forced us to introduce ourselves to everyone. He then shoved me at a table full of strangers who were all full of energy.

This is about where my mood turned around. I love talking to new people here. The moment they figure out you know some of their language they get really friendly. Thinking about that now, I suppose it’s unfortunate that their immediate assumption is that you can’t communicate with them, yet at the same time the reverence you get once they figure out you’re not just some tourist is kind of amusing.

Either way, everyone I talked to seemed nice.

After our two or so hours of all-you-can-eat/drink ran out we gathered outside. The other new member who hadn’t wanted to be there suggested karaoke. The Korean and several other people jumped right onto the idea. There were about ten of us, but when we got to the karaoke place we split into two groups as to make it easier to procure two rooms.

This was my favorite part, as I really liked all of the people we grabbed and took into our room. I suppose I’d already met 3 of the 4, but one I’d only met that week while hanging out at the Korean’s house and the other was friendly enough. We left in the wee hours of the morning when the rain had set in. When I got back my energy was too high to sleep so I ended up listening to the sound of the pouring rain all morning.

On a not-at-all related note, today is the last day of February. Time is really flying – some time around 5am I sat in bed thinking how I was going to Tokyo in two days! Either way, since it’s the last day of the month, I’ll share a song.

I ended up singing this at karaoke, and I suppose it’s fitting for the overall theme. It’s heavily jazz-influenced. It’s カリソメ乙女 (Karisome Otome) by 東京事変 (Tokyo Jihen). At first I really couldn’t stand the vocalist, Shiina Ringo’s voice, but her music is always good so I’ve been slowly getting used to it. Enjoy!

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~ by megumiwasframed on February 27, 2011.

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