Archive for the ‘Japan’ Category

So Hungry We Could Eat a Whale!

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

Maid Cafe

Originally uploaded by Monatopia.

Akihabara. Electronics. Oh My God Electronics. CES with stairs. Electronics we didn’t know existed that now we can’t live without.

Searching for a Maid Cafe. From what we read, they should have been everywhere. And perhaps they were. We only saw one maid and she didn’t speak any English. The card she gave us was either a map or a Rorschach test. Maids on one side, something that could have been a map on the other, but there didn’t seem to be any street names on it in kanji or romanji. Even the Japanese people we asked to hep us find the way had a hard time telling us how to get there. In the end, there was just too much for us to look at to continue to waste time looking for it.

In other words, while walking in the direction we thought we needed to go we saw CosPlay costumes in the back of a DVD store and were completely and utterly distracted by what we found when we got there. For those who don’t know what CosPlay is – and I would be surprised if any of you (aside from Tim) knew – it involves very detailed anime costumes. These are not your average halloween costumes either. These are full on costumes, with – all the bells and whistles. I would be entirely too taken with myself if I were to put one on to actually have sex in it. They were too small for me. Damn tiny Japanese girls.

Next to the CosPlay costumes there were panties in plastic bags with a picture of a girl wearing them staples to the outside. We didn’t get any of those either.

Next to that where about 100 pin-up-ish DVD’s of women in various states of bikini wear.

Next to that was a japanese man offering us a 100 yen coupon to use upstairs where there was… more porn. And another floor. And another. 6 floors later… Fetishes we didn’t know existed. Fetishes we WISHED we didn’t know existed.

I feel so normal. So disappointingly normal.

Then off to check out the local department store. 8 HUGE floors of department store – all electronics/ appliances/ music. Best Buy on MSG. And steroids. And really really really strong coffee. America is so behind in refrigerator technology it makes me sad. We are so far behind in toilet technology it makes me want to cry. Not the hole in the ground, Japanese style, but the “Western style.” I’m not sure where in the west we have heated seats, sounds, fans, showers, temperatures settings, etc.

And why do our waffle makers only only make waffles with squares on them and not cartoons.

Suddenly it’s 9pm. Looking for someplace to eat. Feet and lower back hurt so much I can barely move. Have been walking for 12 hours straight. Too tired to figure out a Japanese menu, but being in Japan.. we have no choice. Finally find a wonderful beautiful traditional Japanese restaurant with a partially English menu on the 7th floor. Semi-private room. We ate whale. Sashimi plate with beautiful wooden stakes with the names of the fish on it. Or at least that what we think was on it. Uni, Maguro and Tai. Maybe.

Scott & Mona: Karaoke Style aka Won’t be Trying that at Home

Friday, October 21st, 2005

Scott & Mona

Originally uploaded by veroyama.

That wasn’t Happy Hour – That was ecstatic hour. In which I lost my virginity to Nancy Sinatra and then had a three way with Scott and Nirvana (see picture). Yes. That’s right folks. Our second night in town and we’ve already been to Karaoke. This week’s Happy Hour took place in the Shibuya district of Tokyo and was organized by our Japanese friends, Yuki and Yoko. They met us at a Standing Bar (and yes, that’s what it said on the sign, and No, there weren’t any seats). Then we walked to a Japanese Restaurant that was underground, yet looked like it was set in an amazing Japanese garden. Sort of like Disneyland. With Japanese food. Note to self: Wear cuter socks when going out with the Japanese Girls. I had my worn white boot socks on under my fabulous Daytons, which looked much better with the Daytons over them. Yoko, on the other hand had the CUTEST black toe socks.

Over fried fugu, sashimi beautifully arranged on over the dead body of one of it’s fishy friends, and some sort of dish that was apparently made of intestines (and as I thought, I don’t eat those), we talked of our alcho-kleptomania and sommmmeooonnne confessed that she steals ashtrays after a couple cocktails. Ahh.. so cute! This is not the first time we’ve heard this confession here at Cocktail Confidential and I think it’s high time we start a support group.

We can meet in bars and have tag sales to raise funds for t-shirts. No one will be cured but more people will acknowledge the problem as a legitimate disease.

At the end of the meal, we were gifted with a bag of restaurants bamboo sake containers which we had lusted after all through dinner. We had of course already snuck one into my back pack. Now I guess you all know what your getting for Christmas.

After dinner we went to Karaoke ala Lost in Translation. We had a private room with a phone to call the bar to order more drinks. Each round was delivered by an adorable Japanese boy would kneel at our table. We ordered several rounds not only to see more of the cute boy, but also because the price of the room included all you can drink.

WHY don’t we have this in the US?? Private Rooms? All You Can Drink? Music? Kneeling? We love it!

(Note from Scott: This is where we found out that Mona can sing! I mean, sing in a reverb-laden, drunken, Moscow Mule-fueled, “These Boots are Made for Walking” sort of way. Who knew? Five years together and I didn’t know she had a voice!)

After singing for two hours we stumbled off, our Japanese friends wisely headed home, and we tried to. We really did. But there was the blue tarp bar again. Temporary Sake. And it was stuffed to the rafters with cute Japanese girls. The great thing about bars made out of blue tarp is that there is always room for two more. Everyone in the bar chatted with us in English and instructed us how to order in Japanese. We practiced our Japanese, asking them where they were from, what their jobs were, and what music they liked. Or at least I think we did. The combination of jet-lag, all you can drink, and Happy Hour lasting 6+ hours caused me to lose some of those memories. They way I like to remember it is that we were both incredibly charming, spoke perfect Japanese, and everyone loved us.

The next morning I heard that age old phrase from Scott that every woman wants to hear from her boyfriend.

“You make a great wing-man.”

Turns out he got digits – supporting my theory of at least one of us being charming.

I wish there was someplace to get a cocktail….

Thursday, October 20th, 2005


Originally uploaded by Monatopia.

And there it is. A bar. Under a blue tarp. You know the kind of blue tarp I’m talking about. We all have relatives who have things stored under them. Or maybe live under them. Those generally being the relatives we don’t talk much about. The same blue tarps we’ve seen homeless using for shelter, and the aforementioned relatives using for camping – or occasionally, garages.

And now I’m drinking under one.

It wasn’t there when we walked by an hour ago.

Not just the blue tarp, I mean the bar.

There was a guy with some boxes and poles and bags and stuff. We didn’t really pay attention. We’re in Tokyo, just blocks from our hotel in Shibuya. There are a lot of guys running around with boxes of stuff. We just never expected one of them to go transformer on our asses and become a bar.

Our first night in Tokyo and already our expectations have been raised. Here’s to hoping the rest of the trip can live up to them.

An Ode to Jet Lag

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

An 11 hour flight. In coach. A kid behind me. Restless. Like I’m not? I’m feeling crowded. Scott is needing to be sedated. The damn waitress never comes back with our martinis. It’s about 1am our time when we arrive in Japan. I’m ready to go to bed. Instead we have to figure out public transportation and cell phone rentals in Japanese. For those of you who have not enjoyed the thrills of Jet Lag in Japan… it’s not like, oh look, it’s 4 am, I’m up late. It’s Oh Look, it’s 4am, I’ve been somewhere between running my ass off and actively waiting in line since very early this morning, followed by intellectual challenges in a foreign language.

I did take a nap, but it was upright on the plane where even though the seat reclines, the comfort offered to the recliner is three times the discomfort given the person behind the recliner who is then gifted with the ability to know the exact moment when you are dozing off and chooses that moment to use your headrest as a handle while hauling themselves up to go to the bathroom for the 87th time.

So, you are up, not having fun, and irritated with most all those who come in contact with you. Oh. And your body clock is a tad off. Suddenly, it’s 4am where you are, yet, your stomach thinks it’s 8pm and is NOT going to let you sleep until you’ve had a steak. And potatoes. And possibly a cocktail. You lay there wide awake until 8am. Then, the moment you get up and your feet touch the floor, you are completely unable to keep your eyes open.

Whee! Off we go!