Thursday, April 7, 2011
Hanami 2011 The First / 花見 ２０１１ 第一弾
Its that time of year again. Cherry Blossom viewing season, or as they say in Japan, its hanami time. The day before was such a beautiful and warm day, it was a shame that today was cloudy and really really cold. But would that stop us from having our hanami? Of course not! And as you can see, some cherry blossoms were in bloom, but it was still a little too early. As always, we had our hanami at Yoyogi Park. On the same day there was some event called "Haru to Kaze" which featured a flea market, DJs, dance and trance music and few scattered food booths.
But then, our hanami almost turned into a disaster. A guy came asking if anybody had a portable ashtray. Since the guy came alone, we invited him to have a drink and eat with us. He was a pretty entertaining guy. He only gave us a nickname. He was here for the "Haru to Kaze" event. After drinking with us for a while he went in search of some other friends but came back later dragging two French men. Drank some more, disappeared and then came back again after an hour and a half or so. By this time he was pretty drunk and none of us could be sure but none of us could be sure of just how drunk he was. As he continued to drink, he also decided to snack on a hard-boiled egg. But then his eyes closed and he wasn't moving. His face and his body started to turn purple. We realized that he must be choking. One of our friends who works as care giver flew to his assistance and tried to clear his throat, but he was not responding. She gave him the Heimlich maneuver but still no response. The guy just fell to the ground. She started CPR are as well while a couple others ran to an ambulance that was parked nearby. While my friend was still giving him CPR another passerby just happened to be a doctor and gave a helping hand as well. It seemed like forever but a half dozen paramedics came and took over. The guy had stopped breathing for about 10 minutes and we were all worried that he might not pull through. The paramedics carried him off to the ambulance and continued to try to save his life. Two of my friends went with the paramedics. They came back after a while and let us know that the guy had resumed normal breathing. He was then taken to the hospital and that was the last thing we knew as we had only met him that afternoon. Not a single one of us knew his real name or where he was from. As you can imagine, everyone sobered up right quick and decided to call our hanami quits for the day. However, knowing that the guy was out of danger, we all let out a huge sigh of relief and moved to a warmer place to have a bit more food and drink to settle our nerves.