Friday, August 29, 2008

TimeOut in Shibuya

I am setting in the confides of a little box at an internet cafe in Shibuya. This is first time to send some time at one of these places. It has proven to a most excellent place to get a little sleep, relax, and nurse a hangover. I have pretty much everything I need to slow down for a bit. I can listen to music, surf the net, have a bite to eat, and take a little nap. The reason I am hiding out in this odd little hole is because I have been in Shibuya all night and half of today.

Thursday evening I met up with my co-worker Hamed. This guys from India and has a most interesting character. Really cool guy for sure but he still has not been out and about in Tokyo after almost of year of living in the city. From what I can gather he has been holding up in a love nest with a little Japanese gal. He is still on the first year of marriage. Well, our little venture was a first for Hamed to wonder about in Shibuya. I decided to show him around the area.

The first stop on our little gonzo adventure was a head shop down a back street. I got two packs of spice and suggest that Hamed do the same. Hamed was a little surprise that we were able to get a hold of some kind of `legal` drug in Tokyo. He did have his doubts even though he did not express it. Every time I go to this head shop I an amazing by now low key the shop keeps itself. Not even head shops in the States are this low key. The damn back street looks like the kind of spot you beat somebody up in or sell coke out of. All the place needs is a back door to a girl bar and it would be like something out of a gangster movie!

Well, after buying some spice we went to a coffee across from 109 to prepare for smoking. We did not brother buying a cup of coffee as it was not part of our agenda. Smoking is allowed on the third floor. I had Hamed take a seat and chill while I made a trip to the bathroom. The process of rolling spice is something I have only recently learned. You must mix the stuff with tobacco. It takes the edge off and helps to cover the smell. After rolling it up I left with Hamed and ended up in a out of the way spot in between two buildings. It was easy smoking and in short order we had the stuff smoked up. Hamed enjoyed the buzz as he has not been high in a long time.

Until around 11:30 we went from bar to bar getting drunk and have some cheap laughs. We ventured to the Hobglobbin, Hub, Gaspanic and some random japanese drinking bar. It has been a while since I drank so much beer. By the time Hamed left I was feeling pretty drunk. So, I decided to spent the night in Shibuya just for the hell of it. I went back to the hub and drank some more beer. I started up a good conversation with some guy from Germany. He was funny and kept me focued and not passing out like a fool. We drank and talked until the staff tossed us out at closing time.

After I parted ways with my drunk German friend I was really out of my wits. I wondered around Shibuya and ended up chilling in front of HMV. I got real relaxed and passed out. I must have been asleep for about an hour when a cop woke me up and told me to move along. No problem for me because I hate sleeping outside on the street. I staggered to an internet cafe and slept there for about six hours.

I left the internet cafe at around 9:00 am. I had a splitting headache and felt kind of confused. I wondered around Shibuya trying to wake up and get my head right. I hung out at a coffee shop for a while drinking coffee and smoking cigs. The morning in Shibuya was actually not bad at all. It was calm and not so many people. I saw no real point in going home so I went back to the internet cafe; which is were I am now. Just another day in Tokyo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Tokyo Blur

I am coming off the heels of a Tokyo Blur. What is a Tokyo Blur? Well, it is when you fall into a dark hole of work and play. In Tokyo is seems all too easy to live a lifestyle so fast and full of twist and turns you can become lost in all the madness. Even now, as I sit here writing this blog, I am struggling to remember exactly what happened over the past week. While I am no stranger to fast times Tokyo does have ability to eat your soul more quickly then most large cities. Almost every pleasure and desire can be fulfilled in this godless city.

My trip into a Tokyo Blur stated last Sunday. When I got off work I got a call from my baby M.K. She and Fumika arranged for a meet up at a nice bar/restaurant type of place in Shinjuku. I was feeling tired but also feeling like a cold beer to go down my thirsty mouth. I remember forcing myself to shake off the stress and tension which comes with work. After work I usually get into two different moods. Either I am gun ho crazy or tired asshole with a taste for beer. Last Sunday evening I was feeling somewhere in between my usually after work moods. I wanted to hang but did not want to deal with a load of bullshit. M.K., Fumika and I have been friends the age of 19 so I cannot turn an invite to hang with my two favorite girls in the whole world.

We met at the Shinkuju station at something called the 7-8. I am not used to hanging out in Shinjuku so I cannot give good direction of exact location of this place; but it was cool none the less. It always feels good the hang with M.K. and Fumika. Hell, I married M.K. so I see her everyday but a I feel a certain magic when the three of us get together. They know me better than anyone else in this world. I have known these gals for most of my adult life.

We got into the usual drinking and merry making. I always feed off Fumika`s very high level of energy. She can be a ball of excitement at times. Even in the worst of times this gal can smile and laugh. I really respect her ability to put a happy face on even the darkest of situations. Lately, she has been dealing with some rally fuck-up shit. I feel sorry for her and what she is having to go though in life. Although, she can still smile which is good.

The three of us talked about old times. There is so much history between the three of us you could write a book! All those crazy days in college and insane drunken nights in Tokyo make for a close friendship. We ended up getting pretty drunk. I do not really remember how I got home.

From left to write: M.K., Fumika

The next morning I woke up to the sound of M.K. blow drying her hair at 7:30 a.m.! Tuesday was my day off and the last thing I wanted to hear was the sound of a blow dryer. I had a splitting headache and M.K. was in full blown `getting ready for work mode.` I let out a sad long morn, which was answered by M.K. saying, ` You stupid drunk bastard that is what you get. Get the fuck up!` I guess I am the only person in the world who understands M.K.`s crude sense of humor. Out of spite I actually got up and unplugged her blow dryer. She threw the blow dryer at me and attempted to tickle me but I was ready for her. I pinned her down and tickled her until her said sorry for calling me a drunk bastard. She gave in only because she had to get ready for work. Usually a tickle match is serious business for M.K. and it is rare for her to loose. I enjoyed the moment as the victor with a little dance. M.K. vowed revenge and flipped me the bird.

All of the early morning hi jinks did nothing for the pounding in my head. I took a warm shower, which only relieved my pain sightly. The only real cure for a hangover and death black coffee and dumplings. As M.K. was putting the finishing touches on her makeup I brewed a evil pot of coffee I tricked her into having a drink from my cup. She hates really strong coffee. She took a big drink and then quickly slapped me across the face. Of course I just laughed it off and gave her a kiss. She loves me so all was forgiven. She did told harbor from emotions as she left for work because I was cooking my kick-ass dumplings.

Anyway, after eating good damn cook fried dumplings it was time to get in some web surfing. I checked out for a while. japansoc is becoming my favorite place to visit. It really has a great community and always provides great blogs written by gaijin living in Tokyo. There is also the interesting news articles and photos as well. If you have not got yourself an account at japansoc you really are missing out on one the best online communities with a focus on Japan. So, get an account jack-ass!

So, around 1:00 pm I finally left the house. Now I have to say the TX is one of the best yet one of the worst trains to deal with in Tokyo. The damn thing is very clean and fast but at the Aoi station the wind issue drives me crazy. As far as I know Aoi is the only station on the TX line which has wind issues. Every time a train passes the entire station becomes a mimi-wind tunnel. If you put effort into your hair everyday like I do Aoi station is a nightmare. Aoi station and I have been at war for a while now and it is still a dead tie. I will win in the end you just wait.

Well, I ended up in Harajuku. It is actually one of the my usual stomping grounds in Tokyo. I go there mostly because if you are a `different` person like myself people will accept you. No body gives me any shit there and I do not have to put up with off color comments from soaks without a clue. I headed down to Jack`s to get a jar of grease for my hair. Jack`s is my favorite retro-graser shop in Tokyo. It is a little shop off a side street on main street in Harajuku. They have the best hair grease for that instant cool look that all greasers strive for. I got myself some extra hard hair grease called `cool grease.` I also talked to the guy working the counter. Ends up that he is the base player for The Rizlas(a super cool rock a billy band). We talked about hair and music a little bit before I left.

My next stop was in front of the temple to meet up with Tommy the painter. Tommy is a guy from Vietnam. He was the first person I became friends with after moving to Tokyo. He is a laid back kind of guy. Real easy to talk to. If you ever go by the temple in Harajuku check out Tommy`s paintings and buy one please. Anyway, the first thing Tommy says to me is `do you want to get high?` Well, hell yes I wanted to get high. So, Tommy leaves his painting in the care of one of his friends and all we go to Shibuya. Once in Shibuya he takes me to a head shop in a back street in Shibuya. The guy working behind the counter looked high as a kite and happy as a pig in shit! Tommy asks me how many I will take. Hell, I had no idea what I was about to buy so I was one. Tommy get two and I get one of something called spice. A 100 percent legal drug sold over the counter. Well, this is good for me because I have been wanting to get high for months!

We get the stuff and head the Yoyogi park to prepare this strange drug for smoking. We find a spot in the woods. Tommy takes the pack I bought and empties it on my hat. He then removes all the tobbaco from a cig. After that he mixes the spice and the tobacco together and put it back into the cig. it is time to go! We talk back to the front of the temple smoking this spiked smoke.

At first, I did not feel anything and wondered if it was going to work. Tommy just winked at me and said, `any second now you are going to go on a little journey.` Well, Tommy boy was right on the money. By the time we were back at the above ground subway elevator I felt as if I was about to trip my ass off. The stiff hit me like a ton of bricks! Maybe it was the fact that I had not been high for several months or `Spice` really was that good. I felt a strong feeling of floating on air. I totality lost my sense of placement and awareness of myself or where I was at. The only thing I knew was that I was in Harajuku, Tokyo and I was high on some strange drug I bought at a head shop in a back street in Shibuya. I felt so happy damn happy. I could stop smiling and laughing. Colors were very vivid. At some points it almost hurt to look at the world around me. I experienced a connect to the city that I had never felt before. For the first time I felt one with Tokyo. It was as if I was apart of the city itself. I can sum up the experience as a mix between a coke, acid, and a pot high all at once.

High with Tommy the painter

Around 7:30 M.K. calls me. I was slightly relieved because I was damn hungry. Tommmy was totality out of his wits and all too happy to sit on the streets of Harajuku until the late hours of the night. I, on the other hand, was itching to move to somewhere else. I agreed to meet M.K. in Ginza to grab some food and catch a movie. The train ride to Ginza was interesting to say the least. The real effect of the drug hit me while on the train. Now, I do not know exactly this shit is or where is comes from, but it really turns your head for a loop. While on the train I started to look at everyone and they started to change. All the people`s yellow skin looked orange. Their eyes looked like little black 8 balls. It was not an extreme hallucination but I did not expect it at all. I just went with the flow and my mind accepted the slight change in perspective quickly. You can image how happy I was to see M.K.

I did not tell M.K. that I was on this strange drug. I thought is would more interesting to see her from this different perspective. We grab some pretty good curry from a ramdon shop in Ginza. The food was really good and help me come down from this very strange high. I have an odd love of curry. Actaully, I could eat the stuff everyday and ever set sick of it. Although, my stomach might start to hate me for all the spicy food. The movie we saw are the The Dragon Kingdom. This was the best movie I have seem this year. It is loosely based on the legend of Goku the monkey king. If you have not read the The Monkey King you really need to check this piece of writing out for sure. The flick has Jackie Chan and Jet Li together for the first time in the same movie! They work well together. They both have very different fighting and acting styles. Jackie displays his funny and skilled art of drunken boxing while Li shows off this mater kung-ku skills. An added bonus in this movie is that Jet Li plays the role of the seeker and the monkey king! He does a great job of bring the monkey to life. The monkey king is meant to be a funny, happy, honest, tricky, and a little stupid kind of character. Jet Li pulls it off like a master actor. Watch this damn movie!!

Anyway....the next two days were kind of a haze for me. It was just teaching and getting the soft treatment from M.K. The gal does have her moments. I really feel she is a very special person in this evil world. At times she can be a fireball of pure fury from hell while in some moments she can as gentle as a kitten. She can breath fire that smells like the sweetest rose. We are as tight as white on rice. I am lucky to have found her in this life.

Thursday night brought an evening at my favorite local bar. Every man needs his place to get drunk and be left the fuck alone; even in Tokyo. My place is a mis-sized bar(by Tokyo standards) about two blocks away from my apartment in Aoi. It really is the kind of place in which everyone knows my name. I am a regular to this dive so the bartender knows exactly what I life to drink. It is rare for me to ask for me first drink. He knows that I want a tall cold Ebisu Black. I am keen on black beer. I usually enjoy the dark stuff. Ebius black is one of the best black beers in the world. It has a nice sweet taste flowered with a gentle bitter after taste. If you have not tried a Ebius black then go and have one asshole! I got pretty drunk that night. I always a good drunk.

All good and drunk

Friday saw an evening in Shibuya. Now, my only goal in Shibuya was buying some more of that spice stuff. The first thing I did when a arrived in Shibuya was go to the head shop and buy two packs of the strange little drug that Tommy turned me onto. I was able to find the little shop in quick order. I bought two packs of spice and left the place. The problem presented itself as to how and where to smoke the shit. I had some papers on me so I decided to smoke it like a joint; but where to roll it and where to smoke it. I could have walk to Yoyogi and roll in smoke in peace but I did not feel like talking that far. Instead, I went to a coffee across from the 109. I did not brother to buy a cup of joe. I went straight to the bathroom. Once inside the bathroom I took a pack of spice and empty the contents on the sink table. The stuff looks just like pot! I did not waste time. I rolled this crazy stuff up into a joint. One pack actually will give you about a dimes worth. After rolling it up I got the hell out of the coffee shop.

Something called spice

I choose a side street to smoke my little strange smoke. I felt really odd to be smoking a joint of `legal` drugs on the damn streets. It make a heavy stink which did nothing for my nerves. It smells like burning wood chips in a brush fire. I lit a cig to try and cover the odd smell. It not take long for the shit to take effect. Smoking the stuff full blown as apposed to mixing it with tobacco is a big difference. About half-way though the joint I started to feel real funny. My head was about to leave my body. I had to put the shit out and left a good sized roach for later. I have to say it was a damn good high. I wondered around Shibuya for a while trying to get my wits about me. After a while I simply gave into the drug. I struggled to walk abound but I did not stagger. I ended up at the Hobgoblin. The Hobgoblin is the best bar in Shibuya. It is a little expensive but well worth the extra price of the beer. They got the finest selection of beer! I got a good drunk going to add to my buzz while I chatted away for the bartender. It was a good time for sure.

Around 9:00 M.K. finally called me home. To be honest the only thing I remember from this past weekend was work and a lot of wild ass sex. I am not going to go into details because it is a wife after all. So, I will leave it to your our sick mind to fill in the details.

Don`t worry I will get the all the gonzo insanity started up on Thursday. Until them be like pop and not like sis, flip the lid before you piss.