Saturday, January 12, 2013
Start of the year party, at work
In Japan it is common to have parties called "bounenkai" (忘年会, end of the year party). In December you have such parties at work, with your friends, with your club mates of any club you are in, etc.
It is also common to have "shinnenkai" (新年会, start of the new year party). This is more or less the same, except you have these parties in January. At our university, there is a staff shinnenkai for the people working at the computer science department that I get invited to every year. The food is usually not that great, but not bad either. It is also very cheap. It costs about a quarter of the parties the students in our lab organize, and unlike the parties of our lab that are always on Friday nights (when I do magic in our magic bar and cannot attend), the staff parties are always on Mondays when there is nothing else to do.
Our party starts at 17:30 with some fairly long and boring speeches about the finances of the department and other things like that. Once that part is over, you are allowed to dig into the buffet, and there is unlimited amounts of beer for people who like that sort of thing.
After 90 minutes, the party is over and there is another speech, and then everyone leaves. This year, the food was surprisingly good. I found it to be much better than previous years.
Last year, one of my friends introduced me to a Japanese researcher and when my friend introduced me as "a magician from Sweden", the other guy went nuts. He had just started practicing magic and wanted me to show him something. I said I did not have any props with me, but he had his whole bag full of cards and stuff so in the end I had to do some tricks with his cards.
We met this year too, of course. And he had cards with him again. He first showed me three tricks that I had shown him last year that he said he had practiced. Two of them went fine, one not so fine. He also wanted me to do some new magic tricks for him (and others) of course, so I ended up doing some magic too.
All in all, a quite nice Monday evening. I ate way too much, though.