Pre-finals.

Thursday was a review for our Japanese-language final, for which we got a handout and went over the relevant material. (I wasn’t worried.) It was also our last class with Professor Kowalczyk. I took a moment between classes to use the restroom, and when I came back, we were moving to another room to see Prof. K’s movies, and they’d locked my stuff in our room. After running downstairs to get the key, running back up to get the stuff, then running back down to drop off the key, Nou-sensei and I ran to the building where our viewing room would be… only to find out that the guy hadn’t yet made copies of the handouts and the projector wasn’t ready yet. Anyway.

The two short films were slow pieces: the first was about the people of Japan and Germany before and after their wartime mindsets, while the second showed Hiroshima (also before and after). We wrote some thoughts and told him when we planned to come to Japan again and how, and that pretty much wrapped up the class.

We didn’t manage to meet our partners that day, instead finding Naoki (one of the Heaven/Tenesha group), Yuta (Rosemarry/Ashe), and the promise of Narito (Mike/me) joining us later. Professor Kanel suggested a place called Café Gusto, and off we went.

Turns out Gusto is like Royal Host: a family restaurant. They have similar menus, but it’s pretty good food. At that time of day, it was busy, so Yuta and the girls were seated in one booth, while the rest of us were seated in a different part of the restaurant. Narito showed up later looking (for lack of a better word) dapper: dress pants, button-up shirt and silk tie, suit jacket in hand.

During lunch, I learned that Naoki’s nickname is 師匠 (master/teacher), but that neither he nor Narito could remember its origin, except that Naoki had a big-hair perm in junior high. (No, I don’t get it, either.) The other thing I learned was more fun. Narito asked me if I’d gotten enough sleep the night before, owing to the dark circles under my eyes. I explained it was a family trait, but I also hadn’t slept well. The rest of them chimed in with how much sleep they’d gotten, until Narito confessed he hadn’t slept at all. I asked him why, and he said it was his part-time job.

A red flag went up in my head, so I decided to investigate, and asked what kind of job. He consulted with Naoki a moment, apparently having a difficult time explaining it, and I heard him utter the word “サービス.” I looked up and asked, “Host club?” and he grunted affirmation. I immediately began laughing, because it made sense: pretty-boy looks, nice suit, part-time job that prevents sleep. I don’t think he figured out whether or not I was laughing at him or just enjoying the information. (Truth is, it was a little of both.)

Pretty maids, all in a clump.

After lunch, the students headed back to Kindai, and the rest of us went back to the hotel. I wanted to visit Nipponbashi one more time, since my intended final visit had been cut short, and asked some of the girls if they wanted to come along. Heaven agreed, and Rosemarry decided she’d come, so Ashe joined us as well. We shopped around here and there, everyone finding something, but the girls were losing interest after a while, so I gave them an out and finished up. A maid-café girl asked me to come have a drink at her restaurant (making me think they get some sort of commission), but I honestly didn’t have the time.

Once I got back, a few of us reviewed for the language exam, but everyone was pretty tired, and we eventually hit the sack.

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