On the 22nd of July the future JET participants from Melbourne were invited to the Japanese Consul General's private residence in Melbourne. There were also a group of Japanese people who were doing the opposite thing in Australia, which is to say that they are Japanese teachers in Melbourne. The night was another great opportunity to meet some more of the people who would be heading out from Melbourne with us only two days later.
First we had to get through the front gate, where a burly security guard made sure we were 'on the list' before letting us inside. Before the reception proper, we also got our passports back with our visas in them, along with our travel documents and a bunch of information regarding our flights to Sydney and Tokyo. A lot of time was spent talking about luggage weight requirements, which reminded me of the fact that I didn't yet have bags chosen, and that I obviously hadn't started to pack either. 48 hours to go. Whoops.
Once we got out of the information session, we were then able to head over to the drinks table to get a glass of champagne or something similar. Thinking that going to Japan was something to celebrate, I walked over quickly and picked up a glass. However, almost everybody behind me was still chatting to one another about the briefing session, which meant that I was standing there looking like the token alcoholic at the event.
Quick thinking: 'Hey, John, why don't you get a drink from over here?' Excellent, now we'll be the only two drunks in the place. Waitress: 'What can I get you, sir?' John: 'Just a coke, thanks.'
Now I felt like I might be as bad as the guy from this poster:
Anyway, we then had a talk from the Consul, a member of State Parliament, a JET and a Japanese teacher too.
I knocked over a couple of relatively responsible drinks and then wandered home, happy that I had my passport, visa and tickets to fly to Japan in less than 48 hours.