Me in New Mexico
Not really, just the Albuquerque Bridge.
So I rarely know where to begin when I start out a blog, yet I usually have such grand intentions while I'm out to describe every little detail that I can. I will try to walk myself through the night... you just had to be there I suppose.
Getting off the ship fairly early just about every day, I venture into town, walking distance from the base. It's probably about 3/4 of a mile or so to get to the Ginza, or shopping area and it's easy enough to branch out from there. The easiest shortcut takes us through a nice park with a soccer field, a small USO annex and across the Albuquerque Bridge. From there, the Arcade (or Ginza) is only a few blocks away.
For my first night out, I tagged along with Brittany, Kyle and Clay... all of us Sasebo virgins, so to speak. We didn't really know what to do, where to go, even what direction to begin. So, finally I get antsy because I can't imagine a good restaurant in a mall (besides food court basics), I make an executive decision to branch off. Did I mention
we can't read any of the signs and we're STARVING?!?
Finally I see English, though not really... it says INDIANA restaurant. Hmmm... I think they mean Indian but let's give it a shot, right? Why not? We go in and it smells amazing, I thought mixing English and Hindi was hard enough, now we have Japanese thrown into the mix. I do as best as I can, trying to mix my ridiculous Asian accent with a few Tamil words I know. After all that trouble, the guy understand some English! Dammit, why do I even try? Between chana masala, naan, shrimp masala and samosas, throw in a couple of gulab jamon and yummy.
MISSION ONE: Eat to avoid the inner bi-yotch coming out. ---------COMPLETE
Okay, a beer for everyone and a sake for me, we're ready to find our next spot. We've heard of Sailor-town and Sake-town but does anyone know where those spots are? Of course this is a rhetorical question. So we begin walking around looking for neon lights and listening for signs of life in the form of karaoke. No... not that one. Hmmm... they just gave me
Sweet Mamma Terumi-san strikes a pose with her favorite Americans.
the X sign on that one (either no Americans or they are afraid of trying their English). Hey, that one says Night on it, it must be a bar. Oh, please let this place be a bar and not a cathouse. Hey, there's nobody here... this place looks nice! May we come in pretty lady? "Hai!" Sweet, she isn't kicking us out yet.
MISSION TWO: Find a place to have a drink (where people keep their clothes on and don't try to sell themselves to you).--------COMPLETE
The sweet little lady behind the bar keeps talking to us. Yes, you guessed it... no English. No worries though, at this point I've had time for the sake to settle over me. I can understand any language, people always speak with their bodies. I'll figure it out and translate. There is karaoke, so we begin to peruse through the book. Wait... book doesn't give it due justice. This thing is the size of a phone book and the pages are the same size. They don't play over here when it comes to karaoke, I love it. As the new person to the group, I figure I'll
An especially good song
I think we got a 70 out of 100 possible points.
break the ice... I love to sing. I get another glass (my 2nd) of sake and break into some songs that I imagine I can sing well. Yeah, not so much... but it's okay, this particular system gives you a score afterwards. So if you get too high and mighty with a song, it really tells you that you suck and brings your ego back into check.
MISSION THREE: Get my karaoke on and not make a moron out of myself.----------COMPLETE (at least halfway)
As the night progresses, everyone around me is drinking beer and I'm still drinking my awesome sake (it doesn't hurt my tummy like beer), we begin to really take this bar over and sing songs together that probably no one would ever want to hear. They were certainly fun and made us ever more popular with the locals who came into the place after us. Our wonderful hostess Mama-Terumi-san was just as cute as can be... there was a very classic moment when Kyle decided shots were in order. I'll preface this with a little more details on the establishment itself. Imagine a smaller high rise building with very
Momma and gals
She really took care of us girls when an old man starting hitting on us too much.
few windows... No English listing the bar name, no pictures... walking up a flight of stairs to a neon sign and randomly opening the door with no idea of what's on the other side. Then you walk into this beautiful little bar with maybe enough room for 20 people to sit down (if that) and the only item you see behind the bar is different types of whisky/bourbon. What would you think? Well, I figure it's a whisky bar... Yes, they have beer and sake, but as far as alcohol, that was it... nice, quality stuff at that. So, with that vision in your mind, Kyle asks for a round of shots. Do I do shots of whisky? No. Never. Did our hostess Terumi-san ever see someone shoot her high quality wares? No. Probably never. She was blown away and didn't know what to make of us, though I know she was sorry to watch us leave at around 1130pm.
MISSION FOUR: DO NOT insult the locals.--------COMPLETE (As far as I know).
We weren't quite ready to go back to the ship, we walked over to an area that I later found out
was Sake-town. All the bars in Sasebo are very small, most either have girls or karaoke (Sailor-town having both). This particular street has a little higher class and quality, you find a lot of the businessmen frequent these places on their way home from work. On our way down the street, there is a lady selling food out of the back of a minivan. Sounds safe, doesn't it? Oven and fire inside the car....hmmm. Anyway... we buy one and open it up. .. absolutely no idea what it is, but it was dubbed "squid balls". We take the food into this little bar with wooden pillars and hear Jack Johnson music emanating from the door. Perfect!
This bar, now lovingly referred to as the "Jack Johnson" bar is really great. It has an African theme, though it's almost a little confusing. It reminds me of the bungalow you would stay in for an African safari but maybe with a little hippie twist. There are seats for about 10 people and the incense burning makes me think of a hash bar or something (not that I've ever been to one to know what it's like). Anyway, there were
Tzucasa-san not only made great drinks but was a good photographer.
masks and pottery, metal sculptures and wood everywhere... really a great atmosphere. We sit down, decide to order from Tzukasa-san. He is ever-so-patient with us and doesn't mind our terrible Japanese or our smelly squid balls. There are more interesting liqueurs and drinks that I've never seen before... at this point it's time to go back to the base.
We manage to get a taxi back to the base, though I think the guy totally gouged us on the fare. Whatever... we made it back and Brittany and I did a little dancing at Galaxies. Apparently the guys weren't used to seeing girls, we started to get swarmed. I wouldn't let anyone dance with Brittany though, at least my Mama-ness came through. Don't think I was quite as savvy on the dance floor as I normally am though.
MISSION FIVE: Make it back to the base unscathed, without food poisoning.-----------COMPLETE
Finally, I went back to the ship, beautiful sleep awaited me... I was not in the best state of mind to teach yoga at 0600 the next morning though. I woke up prior to my alarm and really just wanted
to go back to bed. Couldn't disappoint the group though, and I was happy afterwards. The class really woke me back up.
Tot: 2.128s; Tpl: 0.06s; cc: 13; qc: 65; dbt: 0.0334s; 1; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb