14.1.11

Friendly Drunks

Last night Stuart and I went in search of a local bar. We walked towards Narima and found some kind of bar that was supposedly open, but looked so dark and quiet we weren't sure if it was even open. As we were pondering entering or finding a different place, the door opened and a lady with big poofy hair warmly greeted us and motioned for us to come in. There was a man sitting at the small but nice-looking bar with a warm friendly face and said with an enormous drunken slur, "Where you from?" "America..." "Amewica?! Come in, sit!"

The rest of the evening was filled with this guy telling us all about his two years in the United States - "Nineteen sewenty-sicks, smaw cowege in norf cawowina" - and his opinions on the importance of learning and teaching English - "What is Engwish? Is not Engwish da Japanese want to weawn, is AMEWICAN!" - and sharing his bottle of whiskey with Stuart, and the four very pleasant women working the bar trying to get us to sing karaoke. They very pleasantly gave us some nice (and evidently expensive) sake to sample. For the entire evening, the only people in this tiny little bar was this 50-something business man and us.

The women ranged widely in age: a very old woman who smoked ravenously and cooked the small bowls of stew we were served; a very proper-looking 50-something Japanese woman, who's eyes politely smiled at us and said very little; and two middle aged women, one of whom wore large shoulder pads under her ugly sweater and had a huge permed hair. She was the most enthusiastic to learn about us and kept jumping up and down saying, "Sensei! Keshon!" which was her attempt to say "question". At one point the proper-looking lady brought out a little machine and a microphone, placed it in front of me and said, "Sing! Karaoke!" NO! My worst nightmare in Japan had come true!!! Luckily, the progressively drunker gentleman sang probably 5 songs, including pieces from The Carpenters and "Bi-Jo" (Billy Joel).

It was a very interesting time, but the awkwardness and bill at the end promptly made us decide to never visit there again. haha.

1 comment:

pandora54 said...

He's right- for quite a while, the Japanese were schooled in British English. The emphasis today seems to be much more on American English.

Alcoholic beverages can bring out a whole other side of the Japanese that you might otherwise never see! :-P