Last night was the welcome to Japan Bar-B-Que for all the new English teachers here in the area. A Gaijin Heights bar-b-que is an event in itself. Fun is had from early evening until the wee hours of the night. At least until the last train leaves Omihachiman, or later for the people who miss that train. Last night we dragged the grills out about six in the evening and lit the charcoal so that the coals would be hot around seven or so. The charcoal here is a bit different. (I know; I say those words a lot, but it never fails to amaze me how even the little details tend to be different here.) Charcoal is not in a bag, it comes in a box. And it is not in uniform little briquettes; it actually looks like the wood that it was made from. Lighter fluid is not a liquid, but a gel. And the best part about grilling here is that it pretty much can be a never ending process. You start by getting the coals nice and hot and then you start to cook small pieces of vegetables and meat, then you pretty much eat right off the grill. When the grill is empty you put on more food and continue until you are full. And all of the food is accompanied by lots of beer.
While the coals were heating up a guys named Salem, who lives a couple of cities to the south of here, was talking about how he wanted to cut his hair because it was so hot. So I volunteered to give him a quick buzz with the clippers. He took me up on my gracious offer and I went and grabbed the clippers and proceeded to shear him like a sheep. I had a great time cutting off his hair for him. And with temperatures hovering in the upper nineties with high humidity I know that his head will be much cooler. I think that the funniest part of the whole process was when Salem asked Logan what should he do with all of the hair that was trimmed off his head. Logan said that he should give it to Mr. Bryan. Now Bryan recently, much to his wife's dismay, shaved off his already thinning hair. Bryan received a lot of good natured ribbing about his lack of hair, and after shaving his head people still have much fun with him. It was well received when Logan said that Mr. Salem should give his hair to Mr. Bryan.
We had a great night. Our chicken kabobs were delicious. We even managed to bring out the marshmallow that we found at the foreign foods market and make s'mores around the grill. Lots of fun. We retired early. Jenny and Logan about 9:00 and me closer to 10:00, but the party went on until the wee hours.