Saturday evening was Jennifer and my first hana-mi party. Hana-mi is the cherry blossom viewing that the Japanese love so much. I really couldn't understand why before but now I have a pretty good idea.
It's because they get ripped.
The basic format is where people set up tents or pavillions in the various parks, in all of which they have planted cherry trees so that you can go and hang out and look at the cherry blossoms and be at peace with nature while hanging out inside a pavillion with a bunch of noisy people and drinking too much. Jennifer and I went with Yasko, the japanese woman from my work who's lived in LA for about 8 years. She's a really strange mix of super girly Japanese highschool girl and California.
Anyway, there were probably 8 associated japanese friends and acquaintances there. Japanese girls are the girliest in the world. That's a fact. Whenever anything would happen, it would be accompanied with a cacaphony of girly noises and laughter. It was pretty annoying but then I hit the beer in a meaningful way and it settled down a bit. Things were kind of dull until they broke out the karaoke machine and then with a stunningly awesome rendition of, "Light My Fire" I wowed the crowd with my vocals while a super-drunk japanese guy made fun of my english by going, "Wooo woooo, yeeeahh wwoooo." as i sang.
Then i got into a conversation with a guy who was apparently a quasi famous japanese comedian who insisted that the, "Japanese spirit is the samurai spirit." He also builds and flies kites in his spare time. Talk about cultural exchange.
The rest of the night muddled along until they kicked us out and I wobbled my bicycle home. I only fell off 2 times. The main result of the night is that the sight of cherry blossoms gives me a little bit of nausea due to it's association with alchohol.