Farewell my Friends

marble beef at shabu shabu

marble beef at shabu shabu

Random Observation/Comment #78: It’s always a little depressing to leave new friends when you know that we’ll probably never meet again.  Luckily for our generation, we have this new electronic being to replace our social life.  Isn’t it sad that people today are flattered when they receive snail mail or even phone calls?  With emails and text messaging available instantly for reply on every smart-phone, who needs to know how to talk to clients from the tip of their tongues without carefully-worded byte segments?  Technology has really made us lazy and distant sons of b’s.

Our final dinner together as a single tour unit was at an all-you-can-eat shabu-shabu restaurant.  The food was absolutely delicious and I felt like royalty having cute waitresses run to our service.  They continuously brought us plates of marble beef with a deep bow and a welcoming smile.  Apparently, my method of eating shabu-shabu was incorrect in this Japanese world (although it most certainly tastes better) and completely different from their norm.  I have the habit of adding raw egg to everything because it makes the cooked meat a little less scalding, and it coats it with a slimy consistency.  I wound up eating close to a pound of that sliced beef, and then continued my frenzy with vegetables and noodles with my bottomless-pit-like stomach.

Yuka said a few words to wrap up our journey together.  I don’t quite remember all the details of what she said (even though I recorded it), but it was not a well practiced speech.  I could tell she was fumbling with words while reliving small bits of the experience as she spoke.  Her farewell words could have been saved because her eyes told the story better.  I sat there in silence focusing on all my senses rather than thinking about the past two weeks.  There was a lasting taste of the mixtures of food that I kept trying, and failing, to separate.  The room was humid with the thick steam warming the air.  The smell of boiled vegetables and meat made my nose tingle and my mouth salivate.  I ignored all other emotions and senses to make this moment free from the clouds of my random thought bubbles.  I enjoyed that dinner.

I wrote my farewell words that night and posted them when I left the tour earlier last month.  Every character stays distinctly in my mind.  I wish them all the best in their future endeavors.

The rest of the night unfolded in a techno club.  The music was not my type and I didn’t really know how to dance to the same beat besides bobbing my head up and down and swaying my body in a mess of sweaty, drunk twenty-year-olds.  There was always alcohol involved in these gatherings, so I vaguely remember dragging RJ’s drunk-ass back to the hotel.  He kept hanging onto the phrase, “I bought her a drink, and then she went to the bathroom.”  How could you consider starting a relationship (or even a one-night-stand) when you don’t speak each other’s language?  He lived in an odd fantasy land that money is the first solution to every problem.  Although it might be true in some cases, it only works if you use the money wisely and not just buy them a drink and expect them to drag you to a love hotel.  It’s a shame to waste such a good advantage.  I do give him props for being able to hold his liquor.  He drank vodka like water.

As with all nights drinking with RJ, I didn’t drink heavily – only socially.  You’ll learn one day.  I danced the half-drunken dance with some girls and called it a night.

~See Lemons Miss the Tour