Wednesday, September 14, 2005

An... odd... night

So last night, Wednesday, our usualy posse headed out to the Lion's Head for the requisite beer or two while shooting the proverbial shit. As usually happens, those who must catch buses or trains home left Scott and I to finish our drinks alone, and we continued discussing various subjects, most of them centered on women.

During an intermission in the conversation, I turned to my right and introduced myself to the woman who'd been there quietly drinking her wine. The bartender came over and introduced her as the owner of the flower shop on the first floor of our building, and we got a conversation going. When Scott came back, I introduced them and we had a few drinks to the three of us. At one point she began to get rather friendly, and suggested we head out to another place for a drink, to which we eventually said ok, since it was only 11 or so.

As we walked towards this second place, Scott and my spider sense went up when we were led behind the Washington Hotel into an area filled with ladies of the night. This is one time that I was quite pleased that Japanese ATM's close, as I had about 6$ on me, and Scott was also running low. We repeatedly told Emi this and she said it was ok, she was buying.

So we finally get to this building and once again, the spider sense tingled a bit when we saw the door and enetered what looked to be a very private club. The door had no windows, but was very ornate and had a bronze plaque on it with "As time goes by" written on it. One small bar, two tables against the wall, and a huge variety of liquor behind the bar. Scott and I stood at the bar discussing for a few minutes, while she went to the bar and ordered the drinks. So we decided that since we had no money on us, what's the worse that could happen and joined Emi at the bar. We each got a small Guiness and she ordered a cocktail for herself, and I'm assuming paid for everything. So we kept talking, and getting friendlier and stuff and Scott ended up taking out his sketch pad and working on his sketches.

Nice evening right? Well out of the blue, the bartender comes up to us and says "Be quiet", which Scott immediately took as being extremely rude, and I took as being a lack of language to add the word "please" before the request. First of all, we weren't being any louder than anybody else. So we were thrown by the request. Scott attempted to suggest to the barman that he be more polite, which seemed to just enrage him... and now our Spider senses were really up... Scott said we were leaving, and the barman told us to get out. I asked our lady friend if she was joining and she said she'd finish her drink first and we started walking out. At this point the barman flew around the bar, and proceeded to grab Scott, who was ahead of me and force him out of the bar. This was a total inappropriate use of force since we were already on our way out and I quickly voiced my discontent at the situation. As we got outside, he kept shoving and grabbing Scott by the arms until I interceded and forcefully removed him from Scott's person... seeing as I was about 4 times his size, he didn't put up much more of a fight. We noticed that one of the bar's patrons had exited the bar with the obvious intention on calming down the situation, which was totally aggravated by the barman.

It's totally interesting how quickly a stupid little situation can escalate into something more. Scott wasn't going to fight him, there was no reason to fight him, and I guess the moron lost his nerve when I crushed his biceps in my hands when I pulled him off Scott. Scott is pretty sure there was extra security outside the club, he saw a guy move towards us but stay aside when he saw we had defused the situation. So the question remains... what the fuck just happened here? Other than we got a woman to buy us each a beer? I'm still confused about it and would like to look into the matter further. I got their card, they open at 6PM, maybe I can head there with a Japanese speaker and try to ascertain what the hell happened?

Then Emi is the next conundrum... what was her story? Was she a recruiter for this bar who got drunk and brought in two broke gaijin... which then pissed off the barman? I don't know! I don't think she was a lady of night and I don't think the barman at the Lion's Head would have introduced us were she a working girl... he takes good care of us out there, especially now that he knows Scott and he share the same love of sketching. It's certainly nice to have a place to call one's own... sort of like Cheers but in the middle of Japan where the staff only speaks a little English... lol

In fact, after this experience, and making sure we were not being followed... we headed back to the head for one last beer, but they were already emptying out the kegs for the night. Instead, the best barman in Japan poured us each a free shot of Suntory and apologized for the beerlessness of his bar.

So all in all a good night, an interesting social experiment, my first time being thrown out of a bar, and 4 free drinks... not too bad eh? I am actually quite impressed by Scotto and myself for being able to defuse the situation as well as we did... Scott had every reason to clock the guy when we got outside and he continued being pushy, but as we all know, violence is never the answer. I'm still pondering a return to "As time goes by" to check out just what the heck happened...

So that's that for last night.

Also had an interesting moment yesterday where one of the trainers mentioned something about the quick video we'll be shooting for Praktica today.... He mentioned it in a totally unrelated phone conversation, did not make a point of calling because of it... but I found it interesting. Obviously someone from the head office has been checking my blog, (hello whoever you are, please do post a comment some day instead of lurking in the shadows) I hope out of genuine interest and not as some kind of form of monitoring. I hope I'm not being immodest here but I do think people enjoy reading what I put on here... so I hope it's out of interest. Just to be on the safe side following the comment by the trainer, Kanako called the manager at home and specifically asked for permission for us to do this, to which she readily agreed there was no problem. This is purely volunteer work, no money will exchange hands... I'm just helping out some people I consider to be semi-friends with some promo for their restaurant... we won't be wearing our company pins in the video... lol And hey, any time I can get a free lunch and, as I mentioned before, get in the good books of the best French restaurant in town... count me in!

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there Michel.
Glad things are going well in Utsunomiya.
I found this blog by accident.
Don't worry about us 'checking up' on you. I write a blog, too.
I use blogger.com, too.
Maybe you can find me...
You didn't go up to Yamadera, huh?
It's worth going up to.
Well, I have to run.
Will write a message again.
Not lurking in the shadows, you know. Left a message before.
Just left it anonymously. Perhaps you can find the messages I have already left as well.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahh... you found that street. I think I went down it once at night and it was the only time in Japan I felt really creeped out. Guys in designer suits kept trying to bekon me into their bars. I think you're really supposed to spend lots of money there.

-Matt

10:01 AM  
Blogger Michel Lafleur said...

Note to anonymous:
No problem, I figured it was out of interest more than anything else... I accept your challenge, I will do my best to find you and post a comment on your blog. I thought that "lurking" comment might make someone come out a bit... lol

Note to Matt:
That's the best part... we didn't pay a thing! It was great! We've decided it would be much cheaper for us, instead of going out like we usually do, to pick a new bar every night, cause a fight or something and get kicked out before having to pay the bill!

11:03 AM  

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