Tuesday, March 27, 2007


During holiday seasons, a train deal goes on sale. The 十八きっぷ. 18 ticket. This deal lets you have 5 days of local train travel (with insies and outties) for the cost of 8 sen. Not bad. Although riding local trains can be quite slow. Thus why I left Shimada at noon only to arrive in Kyoto by seven. So I met up with Aine, her boo, Grace and her friends at some place I had been to already last time in Kyoto.

So, it is always interesting meeting new people, and I must say that this dinner was interesting indeed. I sat over with the British crew, and it was probably the first time I realized how out of the loop you can feel when you are unfamiliar with such simple common things, like TV shows, public figures, figures of speech...etc. I loved listening and learning, but I felt a weird feeling that I just wouldn't even know how to get into the conversation even if I wanted to. It really was weird. I hadn't felt that outside of Japanese conversations.

That's not to say, that there weren't any Americans at the dinner. In fact, the two girls on my left, yet at a different table, both went to school at Berkeley, and we bonded over our mutual love for Anzu, an adorable sushi restaurant on Shattuck and Haste.

The next day we had 食べ穂代 and 飲み穂代 at a Shabu-Shabu restaurant. And boy was it delicious. This yin-yang shaped bowl has two kinds of boiling sauces. You throw veggies and meat inside and then pull them out and dip then in more sauces. My favorite part of dinner was at the end when they came for our last order, and we each ordered 2 more drinks when we all had full beers/cocktails in front of us. The waiter looked at us skeptically, and we assured and convinced him that we'd finish within the next half hour. And we did, much to my head's dismay the next morning.

While in a reggae bar called Rub-a-Dub, Tom and Den ordered 2 shots of a strange looking liquor that had strange looking things wading in the bottom of the bottle. These things were mouse embyros. They took the shot, and swallowed the embryo.
Aine was disgusted by the drinking of embyros which made me even more enthusiastic in asking about it. Did they have claws or were they slippery like a clam? Did they bite in or just swallow? Did their tummies hurt? Etc.

After leaving the bar, we walked back past the 2 Many DJs venue where they claimed that tickets were sold out. I watched Grace and Den approach the ticket counter and pretend to speak in French with a French accent. "Can you please speak English?" the ticket guys asked. (Asking in English) "Oh, we cannot speak English.", Grace replied in (seriously) the most ridiculous accent (British-french). They stood there for awhile arguing with the guys, and some other guys by the exit came over to them to see what the problem was. Since the exit was left unmanned, I darted inside and began pushing my way through the crowds, trying to lose myself in them. Unfortunately, i was not as slick as I thought because some guys from inside saw me, and escorted me back out. Of course, they were very Japanese and polite. Anyway, once I got back out, I went to see how they were doing, but still no progress. At this point this guy taps me on the shoulder and gives me 3 wristbands. I try to communicate to G and D that all our problems are solved, but I decide to not ruin their game. So I go in the corner, attach my band with gum (like how i used to do before I was 21), and walk back to the entrance all nonchalant. Of course, they don't let me in. Because while I am drunk, and thinking that I am so slick, they probably saw me in the corner attaching my wristband, as well as remember me running inside only 15 minutes before. After being denied the second time, i decided to just walk back to my hotel. Fuck DJs. Anyway, I was told that eventually, Grace and Den argued their way with 3000 yen each.

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