The night before last was the celebratory reception at the embassy in London. I'm not sure I've ever been to such a formal (and exclusive!) party. As well as reacquainting with people I met at the orientation I met more JETs, organisers, interviewers and ex-JETs.
On arrival I was gently ushered upstairs to a large hall, at which point I was very promptly asked if I'd like a glass of champagne. When in Rome, and all that. And for every mouthful I took there was someone at my side, impeccably dressed, offering to top up my glass. After becoming just a little innebriated I was told this is a very Japanese thing to do, and if you've had enough you should let your glass fill and/or overflow. Oops. Point noted.
In addition to this year's crop of JETs, there were also representatives from JETAA (the Alumni Association) and a Japanese recruitment service, both of which would certainly prove useful contacts when any JET decides to step off the rollercoaster, or indeed during, should it be needed.
The evening was bisected with speeches from Japanese representatives as well as one from a current JET (in Japanese!), the JETAA Chair, and the Japan Local Government Centre Ambasssador Shin Ebihara, who jokingly added his dislike of the Japanese summer heat.
The evening for me was finished in a little pub around the corner from the embassy, drinking with Tom (Kyūshū-bound), Rebecca (Ibaraki-bound) and two ex-JETs.