If you're teaching English in Japan, you are usually thrown a Welcome Party by your Board of Education or company. I remember reading about all of the rules for attending official parties in Japan but I didn't believe them. They turned out to be true! The hardest for me was sitting and waiting for people to finish making speeches before we could eat. They really take a long time and several people have to speak. In some places, the teacher that you are replacing is there and gives a farewell speech and then they make you give a welcome speech. Luckily, I didn't have to make a speech! Just say hello and thank you. The employees at the Board of Education did put in money to help me buy a cell phone though and when we all said, KAMPAI (Cheers), I was ready to eat and drink!
Yes, I did my fair share of beer drinking. The other people at the party really do fill up your little glass when it's empty. Sometimes, I didn't even see the person refill it. Ninja style! It's easy to get carried away and drink too much. I'm a light weight when it comes to drinking and I don't over do it, so what you see in this comic is pretty much the way it happened. So sad, I know. I really learned to pace myself after that experience and to just stop drinking from the little glass! That way, they can't give me any Ninja refills.