Monday, December 3

Fuk.u.ok Sumo and Sobriety


My Fukuoka weekends have always been fun, the last two in particular were great and I was really looking forward to getting up there again and seeing some Sumo. It was months in the planning and with any event planned with JETs it was often a headache. Despite my best efforts there was still confusion over how people were getting to the venue and confusion about which day we were seeing sumo event (though it was clearly stated on the email and then again in several others), someone even asked me for a map to the hotel, as if they couldn’t just get their own map...titter, sigh.

Anyway, once we all got together, were settled in our rooms and all ready to party then things were great. Sumo before going out was a laugh, I really enjoyed the company I was in and got a few drinks in before going out. Then we went to La Boheme, which is next to the Apple store in Tenjin, and I realised after we had eaten that I had been there before with Evania and on my last visit I remember breaking something in the toilets and wanting to leave very quickly, seems that I got away with that.
Food at La Boheme was pleasant enough and then we went onto the clubs and partied on. I ducked out kind of early and left the guys to go onto Fubar from Sam & Dave’s and instead I went to a reggae bar to meet up with a friend. I ended up at Fubar much much later and then ended up in my hotel at 5am.

The next day I felt like absolute shit, I was hung-o
ver and there was nothing to bring me out of my funk, not the $30 dollar and 6 course lunch, not the bagels with Maron-Maron cream cheese, not the Willy Wonka chocolate, the Christmas lights, the chance to touch a new iPod touch or the healthy fruit smoothie. I was in bits, and wasn’t great company as a result.
That evening we went for Mexican food at a place called La Borracha, the service was slow, the bill was enormous but the food was great. I can totally appreciate why Americans love Mexican food so much and why they would prefer it to ramen which is one of the things that Fukuoka is famed for, I got my Ramen fix the next day hidden in a both behind a curtain strangely enough.

After having Mexican I went back to the hotel and slept for an hour and 
then woke Patrick up to meet him down in the lobby so that we could head to the clubs again, but instead of waiting in the lobby I waited in the pub next to the lobby and drank a £5 pint of Guinness. I was waiting until 1 am when I realised that Patrick wasn’t going to come through the doors of the pub and join us, so instead of waiting longer Johnny and I went to hit the town.
Another 5am finish and I was feeling fucking shit this time around, in fact I have never had a hang over like this before. I was all hatred and self-loathing, I felt terrible physically and mentally drained, it was shocking.

It worried me how much alcohol could change my mood, and how terrible it could make me feel; it made me feel like something other than myself and that wasn’t pleasant. I was again extremely terrible company on the way back to Miyazaki in the car and I didn’t bounce back from that come down until Tuesday.

It’s now a week on from Fukuoka and I’ve not drunk alcohol since, and although I feel no different physically or health wise, I do feel better knowing that I’m doing something positive for myself.

I don’t think that I’m an alcoholic, nor that that was where I was headed, but I don’t think that I was drinking in a healthy way, I certainly wasn’t drinking responsibly and that bothered me.

I don’t know how long this self enforced ban will last but so far it’s survived several attempts of peer-pressure and belittlement; I find it odd that my not drinking seems so abhorrent to people, so strange that they must again convert me back to my old ways...that's people I guess, what else should I expect.

Anyway, that’s where I am right now, I still love Fukuoka, and am keen to get up there again. Although the people who I met there have all left which is a shame, I enjoyed their company because they knew who they were and didn’t judge me because of who I was. Perhaps Fukuoka will never be the same for me, but such is life.

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