I arrived forty-five minutes early. I arrive everywhere forty-five minutes early, btw. And after staking out the meeting spot, making sure no one else was there yet, I set off with my earphones firmly in my ears and my mobile phone on camera mode and tried to take pictures of all the hookers that began to mill around the big intersections in town.
This is as good as I got. But I think these gals are hostesses. Still. Big hair is IN. Boufants my mother would be proud of. I found it quite sweet.
I also made friends with this guy...
...and a little dog in a box.
For the first half of the night the goal was simple and we drank and laughed and ate. Here is Mori enjoying her Grapefruit juice (the only non drinker in the whole town that evening).
However, as the night went on slowly the tables around us started filling up with gansta looking dudes, four big-haired, well-make upped working gals, and a rowdy group of foreigners. One of these non-Japanese types came over because he recognized one of us and just as a measure of how much I had drunk thus far, there was an exchange something similar to this:
Tall guy: "Hey, mate!"
Me: "Wow, you must be from Australia!"
Tall guy: "What? No, are you kidding! What the hell are you talking about? I'm from New Zealand!"
Me: "Oh, man, I'm sorry. But that's okay, Australia sucks. I like New Zealand better!"
Tall guy: "But this guy (points to fellow beside him), he's from Australia."
And just like that the the mission of the night changed.
I think it started innocently enough when the Tall Kiwi at the table next to us yelled over to the guy in our party how to say a certain dirty word in Japanese. We all pondered, worried, thought deepy about it. We even consulted Mori-san who also didn't have a clue. Fascinating. There has got to be an equivalent to this word. Heck, the Beatles sang about in Day Tripper (that's a hint!), although they denied it later. Let's see, how can I say this with just a little bit of cooth? Okay, it is a word that sounds like (and ironically means the opposite of) Stick Please. Yes, we were pretty crass that night.
Not long afterward, the guy in our group says, "That's it I'm going to ask those hip hop looking guys over there." And he gets up and goes. After much discussion he returns. Nope. They don't have nothing. No way. There has got to be a similar word! Maybe that table of girls knows? I finish my beer, take a deep breath and infiltrate their ranks.
Now you have to know that these girls have these outrageously high-pitched, baby talk, whiny voices that send pricklies all up and down your arms. Not to mention their dressed for...um, "work".
Before I know it we're chatting it up and I think I might be getting close to discovering the illusive word. But the girls are at the same time getting excited about the whole situation and squealing at ever increasing decibels. Somewhere along the line the New Zealand bloke leans over and tells me if I don't shut them up he'll kill me. Whoops. Still, I implore, I'm on a mission, you gotta feel for me. He doesn't.
It was funny. When I gave them my name they misheard it as, Kerrie. And they'd squeal in unison, "KERRRIIEE!" I said, no, no, "TERRIE" and did the universal "time out" sign so they'd know it was a T. For the rest of the night they'd periodically yell, "TERRIE" and all do the time out sign. Hilarious.
Me and the girl I'll call PrincessHot (yes, we ended up exchanging phone addresses and her mail was that and some numbers) became like best friends. We made at least three trips to the bathroom together, talked to each other through the stalls and took pictures together. The foreigners ended up leaving due to the noise, I'm sure. And I felt bad about that. But it all ended for us too when one of the girls broke down and began to cry in the toilet. I was all caught up in that but when I came out my friend told me that the waiter said they came every night and she pulled the same stunt, cried in the bathroom over some guy named Kazu. I was like, yep, that was the name she was saying. We left.
It was late but we had one more stop. The only (that I know of) foreign run bar in town. They got great beer, btw. Like I needed anymore beer. Wouldn't you know, the expat group that was next to us in the first bar had also retired there. Everything from here on out is pretty sketchy. I vaguely remember the New Zealand chap sitting beside me and us talking about Gandalf and hobbits. And somewhere around three thirty my husband e-mailed me and asked, where I was and if I was still alive (the trains had stopped running four and a half hours ago). I wasn't very able to write back but one of my friends answered with a, I'm-on-my-way-home. That was sweet. It stopped my hubby from thinking I was dead and laying under some bus.
It was true, though. Not long afterwards we all ran out the door when a fight ensued. Not sure exactly what was said, but Tall Guy was talking to Australian Guy and suddenly I heard Wanker! and Git! and tables scooted and people stood up quickly and we were out of there.