Just when I thought that I had had enough with hosting guests, I decided to hold a slumber party at my place last weekend. Japan was having its Golden Week holiday season. It is basically 3 days of national holidays which can turn into a week long break for some companies who are generous enough. For small companies like mine, we only had 2 days - Monday and Tuesday, as the one on Saturday wasn't replaced. So I had a Golden Weekend instead.
It's like "balik kampung"* time for the folks here. Except that they don't have many races like in Malaysia where each major race return to their hometown at designated times of the year. Since the Japanese are a homogeneous lot, they ALL balik kampung at basically the same time. Making it a very hectic and stressful period, especially if you're travelling out of Tokyo. So I decided I would chill out and catch up with rest after a whole month of hosting.
But me being me, I decided to invite friends from church to come over and spend the Golden Weekend at my place. Well actually the initial plan was to have it over at April's place. But her house was quite far from church and she wasn't sure if her the grandfather living at her place would accept stay-over guests. So I decided to just bring them over to my place, which was only 3 stops away from church. So they came over right after the evening service.
Hyun, the Korean grrl decided to comply with my request to cook Korean food. I was actually kidding when I told her I loved chijimi. I wouldn't have minded if I had to cook, so I was really delighted when she brought all the necessary ingredients not only to make chijimi but lappoki. I'm sure I don't have the right spelling since I see different variations for these dishes, but chijimi is basically a type of Korean pancake, while lappoki is a type of Korean ramen dish in very spicy sauce and sticky rice sticks.
Unfortunately, as with all my parties I got too busy entertaining my guests to take pictures. But this was one of the best weekends I've ever had. We started a bit late, so was cooking and eating till almost midnight. As with all slumber parties, the grrls will take their time to wash up, exchange health and beauty tips, chat till the wee hours and do whatever they wanna do to pamper themselves. My room was fortunately big enough to host all 4 of them (and actually more if they don't mind the squeeze). I was dead tired from it all, but still stayed up to have grrly chats and giggled over topics surrounding guys (and other equally serious stuff too)!
April and Tracy left us early the next day, so Hyun and Yuri had the whole room to themselves. We had leftover food for brunch and decided not to waste time sleeping. So I took them to the Edogawa park and the adjacent Four Seasons Hotel for a walk. This seems to be a favourite tour spot which I bring my friends since it's unbelievably near and offers a cool respite from bustling Tokyo.
We ended up in the Canal Cafe for afternoon tea. It could have been almost perfect for a lazy afternoon chat safe for the drizzle that threatened to spoil the day. But, it was such excellent bonding time for us. They kept thanking me for inviting them over, expressing what a nice place I had, and wished we could do this more often. For me, it was just sharing the blessing of having a nice home when God has blessed me with much much more. I guess with this, it sorta brings me closer to choosing this church to belong to.
*balik kampung - a Malay phrase meaning to return to hometown, especially for major events such Hari Raya Aidilfitri for the Malays, Chinese New Year for the Chinese and Deepavali for the Indians.