A haphazard collection of moments

I had planned on doing a thorough recap of the last couple days, but I just don't have it in me any more. It has been crazy and aweseome and strange though. On Saturday night, I skipped out of work early (unnecessarily) in order to go to a concert.

What concert, you ask? Talib Kweli. Fuck yeah. Talib in Osaka for $35. You cannot beat that with any less than 15 sticks.

I was scheduled to get out of work at 10:40PM. I skipped out around 5:30 to go get my ticket and head home to change and whatnot. I got to the show around 10:15 (doors were due open at 10) to find Steve, Lucas, Ben and a few others hanging out outside the venue, drinking. Turns out that they delayed the doors until 10:30. It also turns out that had I not gotten turned around on my way to the show, I would have gotten to meet Talib, who had been in the AM/PM (convenience store) next to the club. Steve had talked to Talib and apparently he wasn't due to go on until about 1AM, and the promoter was being a jerk and not paying up, so Talib hinted that he might not even go on.

I suppose I should explain where the concert was being held, because it is fairly important to the story. It was in Amerika mura (America-town). Can you guess what kind of a freakshow that is? Amerika mura has about 5 McDonald's in 3 or 4 square blocks, at least 4 hip-hop stores, a movie cafe with photos from blockbusters no more recent than 1991, and a triangle shaped park in the center (flanked by a police station) filled with J-boys dressed in hip-hop gear and high-tops, pulling the worst skateboarding tricks ever. Not to mention the endless stream of tricked out Hundais, and Toyotas. I even saw a station wagon painted jet black with a chrome steering wheel. Just ridiculous. Anyway, the show was at the Triangle Club, in Triangle Park, between a McDonald's and a convenience store (oh yeah, and all of the convenience stores have J-boys in front decked out in hip-hop gear, drinking Smirnoff Ice. They hardcore.)

So, we didn't even bother going into the show until about 11:30. We just hung out outside drinking (no laws about open containers here!) The J-rappers weren't horrible, but nothing more than passable either. The DJ who came on just before Talib was kick ass though. He played all the best old school shit like Run DMC and stuff. By that time we were all pretty wasted, so that meant that Steve and I (both roughly the same size) planted ourselves in the middle of the floor, effectively blocking the view for half of the crowd, and danced along with the crowd. (Yes, I danced. Don't judge me.)

Talib came on around 2:20 or so, and as a review of his performance I can say this much: Holy fuck. Just fucking awesome. The only downside to the show at that point was that it was a bit of a sausage fest. Of course, somehow I found a way to beat that (and it will haunt me for a long time to come.) As I said, I was in the middle of the floor, dancing. It was pretty packed in there and everyone was dancing, so when a hot J-girl bumped into me, I didn't think much of it. I assumed she just didn't care because it was bound to happen in such a small space. Then there was some rubbing. At that point, my mind snapped and I had no clue what to do, which meant that I was bound to make the wrong decision, and I did just that. I did nothing, so she ended up drifting away in the crowd. Just before the encore, I went back to the bar to grab another drink, downed that in a sec and headed back to the floor. I could have pushed my way up to the front row had I wanted to (who in this country is gonna stop me?) but instead I headed towards the girl. She was easy to spot because she was tall, slim, sexy and wearing a black and white girly fedora. I set myself up behind her and started dancing again. I made no move until about 30 seconds later when she bumped into me again. I let my hands loose. And with one hand on each hip, I danced with that girl for the remainder of the show. Got myself a solid case of blue balls too. Now, obviously, for any of you out there who actually know me, you know that we have already reached the high point of this story. There is nowhere to go but down. I was at an amazing show, dancing with a hot girl. Cut to the big finish: I have no idea what her name is, I don't even really know what her face looks like, I somewhat doubt she knows what I look like, and there were no words exchanged. I had my moment. I did more than I expected of myself, but I didn't go the whole way. That dance is going to haunt me for a long time, but that doesn't mean I won't be smiling like an idiot the whole time.

Anyway, the show ended at about 4:30, so Steve and I got another beer and sat in Triangle Park waiting for the subway to open up again. We jumped the train home, stopped at McDonald's, got some sausage McMuffins, and went out separate ways home. On the way back home, I ran into Nate who was on his way to work. That was a good moment. I passed out until 1:30, went to work at 3, got out of work at 10:20 last night and it was back out to the bars.

Last night was not as exciting, being Sunday night. We started out at a bar in Amerika mura that was filled by at least 80% Nova teachers, indluding some cuties that I work with. We hung out there for a while, and a lot of people jumped out around midnight to catch the last train, but Nate, Ron, Sara, James and I decided to stick it out until the first train came. We ended up at some little bar with no one there. I was getting antsy, because I had little interest in sitting around a table with 5 guys and one girl, drinking and talking shit (or at least listening to Nate talk shit.) When the conversation turned to "favorite sexual position" I just got up and walked out. I couldn't handle it. I walked around the block, got propositioned by a hooker, and made my way back to the bar. I was buying another draft when some guy came up calling me "Tall Guy" and going on. It took me a second to decode his Scottish accent, but pretty soon I was sitting at the bar having a chat. The guy was in town for 2 days with a couple of his friends. They had come down from Korea, where they had jobs working on an oil rig. The guy was going on about how lucky I was to be able to just come here and get a bullshit job like teaching (I didn't argue) and about how he had 12 girlfriends in 18 months in Korea, and on and on and on. He was a fucking riot. The most amusing part was how I found myself dropping into a pseudo-Scottish accent while hanging out with those guys. They didn't even bat an eye when I used terms like "shite", "oy!", and "good on ye" (which I know is more Australian, but I was kinda drunk.)

We got on our way, but it was abour 3AM, the trains didn't start until 5 and the town was dead. By this time, it was just me, Ron, Nate, and James left out. We got some munchies. Nate and James went to Starbucks for munchies, but I refused, so Ron and I went just down the street to Yoshinoya (I think that's right) and got some yummy rice & beef bowls. Of course, in doing so we also lost Nate and James. Ron and I wandered around looking for something, anything to do. We even went into a Thai massage parlor with no money and tried bartering with the woman (Ron offered his iPod,) before leaving and finding out there was a bank right next door. We got out money, but didn't go back to the parlor. We went into a Denny's, saw the menu and left (Denny's is not Denny's without pancakes.) We went into a coffee shop, saw the menu and left (nothing cheaper than $9). We kept wandering and finally found a Royal Host, which I knew for a fact had pancakes. A 3-stack later, we were back on the train and on out of the night.

Just a couple things I've been meaning to write about but haven't for one reason or another.

One of the main benefits of being here is that almost every night since getting here I have been remembering, at least in part, my dreams. I used to only catch one or two every few months, but now I'm getting bits every night. Last night was especially crazy and I wish I could rmember more. What I do remember were deer with spring legs, and a guy skiing with ice skis on tracks made of clouds. It was an amazing world and I really want to fall back into it tonight.

This country is very difficult to figure out with regard to women. At first, I thought that it was just a country filled with MILFs and cutie pies, while any hotties were either taken, or made up like whores. But my perspective is slowly changing. I still love the sight of a hot western woman, but I'm starting to appreciate the locals a lot more. I dunno. It's a hard thing to express right now. I'm still figuring it all out.