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Published: August 27th 2007
I will now tell you one of the craziest stories of my life. It would be the craziest if I could remember the details, but because of crazy levels of alcohol, it will reside somewhere in the top 3.
In July, I took a one week tour throughout Japan. I went from Hokkaido (the most northern part of Japan) to Kagoshima (the most southern part) on trains. Everyday, I would take the train and visit a new city. I looked at temples and monuments, hiked around random places and ate amazing food. I stayed at youth hostels, family friends' houses and generally enjoyed being a complacent tourist.
Then I hit Osaka.
Osaka only has one touristy thing-Osaka castle. I visited it, ohhed and ahhed, and was done in 5 minutes. I had planned on going to a Hanshin game with Ted in Koshien, but due to shortage of tickets, none were available. I decided to see if I could get in anyway. Took a 15 minute train ride there, couldn't get tickets, so I returned back to the metropolis with a handful of Hanshin gear. Osaka was my last stop on my trip, I had about 30,000 yen (about $300) and as soon as I returned to Tokyo, I would be getting a big fat paycheck on the 25th.
Time to hit the town
I went to a rando bar (it was 5pm) and talked to a bunch of old guys. Highly entertaining as these guys were hardcore Osaka and talked with a crazy cool Kansai dialect. Around 7pm (I was totally bombed by then), a group of people around my age come sit at the next table. They were a university circle and from what I can gather, they were all studying business/finance. There were about 5 guys...and 3 girls.
Time to get to work.
I started off by asking them what was written on the menu, and what they would recommend I buy. I used the, "I'm just a stupid tourist from New York City, so I caan't read Japanese" line. They commented that my Japanese is amazing...and I went through my whole family history with some exaggerated details. By the time I was done talking about being a snowboard instructor and showing them some of my rapping skills, the girls were melting in my hands...and the guys were impressed. They invited me to their table, and they asked me what I drank in America.
I said vodka.
None of them had tried it, though they all had an idea it was strong. I ordered vodka rocks all around (remember, I had a shitload of money). Everyone took a sip and made a face. I told them that with hard alcohol, you get less drunk if you drink it extremely fast-this is why people down shots in one gulp (Note: this is a blatant lie. Never actually try this. I have used this line many times in Japan to get JBoys plastered so I can more easily talk to the women, but for your own health, never attempt to chug vodka and expect to walk). Everyone promptly downed their vodka, then turned expectantly to me since I had 3/4 of my drink left. I used the excuse that I'm really strong with vodka, so I need to drink slowly or else I can't get drunk (I'm spilling one of my greatest tactics, get your pen, your pad, and take notes). They wanted to try something new for their next round.
I said whiskey.
And so began their initiation with hard alcohol. There was one girl and one guy who were not drinking with us, and they were quietly giving me disapproving looks for making their group of quiet Japanese students into a rowdy gaijin drinking fest. I needed to get rid of them. This was one of my last coherent thoughts as the manager came over (he had been eavesdropping on us the whole night) and said he had a challenge. If I could chug the rest of the 26'er of vodka, the whole bill would be free (remember earlier I said I was strong with vodka-bit me in the ass). I said I got the money, so I didn't need to accept his proposal and promptly showed him my cash.
He told me to be a man.
I never back down, especially in front of a raucous, drunk group.
I gulped it down (and the bile that was rapidly ascending my throat). I was the champion of the bar, the girls who were pretty much in my hands already, were now hanging all over me...
...I woke up with no feeling in my body. For about two minutes, I stared at a grey, shiny wall. I tried moving my arms, my legs, me torso...no response. This is when I started panicking. I was thinking one of two things...I was dead or due to the amount of alcohol I had consumed last night, I was paralyzed. I frantically tried moving every appendage in my body, and realized I was lying down...
...and I could move my neck. I looked down at my body...
...and saw a mass of brown hair...
I started screaming and flailing, and managed to discover that I could kick something with my foot. I started kicking wildly. I heard groaning, muttered protests, then a door squeaking open, curses, and then all the weight was lifted off my body. I creaked up into a sitting position, looked down at my body, saw it was all blue from the weight resting on it, then looked at my surroundings.
A capsule hotel room.*
Then I looked out the door, into the hallway.
It was utter carnage.
There were three girls and a guy collapsed out in the hallway, various handbags, bookbags, clothes and an open bottle of Calpis were littered in the hallway. Shit from the bags were spilled out everywhere in the room and also in the hallway. One of the girls groaned and rolled over...
...and that's when I also realized we were all naked.
I ventured past my throbbing hangover into my foggy memory, and realized the guy and two of the girls were the students I met yesterday. This one other girl I had no idea who she was. After about ten minutes, I finally got the blood circulating in my body again, got up and started waking the rest of them up (I was afraid that any minute, someone would walk down the hallway and see this). After much groaning, we all started getting to our feet, shoving the shit in the hallway into the room and then sat down in the room.
It was a tight fit even sitting down.
We were all massively hung over (and probably still drunk), but we all were like "wtf is going on" and "I'm tired" as we put our shit back into our bags. I noticed I was missing 4 condoms, which is a good sign I guess, which meant I had one remaining. The two university girls are trying to figure out who's makeup is who's and the rando girl is checking her cellie. And she suddenly looks up.
"I gotta go to school"
No one is paying her much attention (I'm wondering what university she goes to) as everyone is more concerned about their tired bodies and shoving their shit into their bags. She starts sluggishly putting on her clothes. I'm checking my wallet (shit, only 4,000 yen-about $40) and making sure my cards are still there. That's when I happen to glance up at the other guy sitting across from me. He's staring at the rando girl dressing, with an expression on his face that spelled "holy shit", with mouth agape and everything. At first, I thought he was just drooling watching a cute girl dress or something perverted, so I started staring at him quizzically. He doesn't even glance my way, he's locked on the girl. I turned to glance at rando girl. I started staring. "Holy shit..."
She was putting on a schoolgirl uniform.
Let me explain, schoolgirl uniforms are only used by students aged 13-18. Given the aging of Asians, it's impossible to even guess if an asian girl is 13 or 33. That's why the Japanese use these highly distinguishable uniforms to blatantly point out a girl is underage. I'm 19, so I am still considered a minor in Japan (20 is the legal age), so I was thinking more along the lines of "Schoolgirl uniforms are hot". My good fellow sitting across from me in the capsule room was probably over 20, and thinking about how much life in a Japanese prison must suck as he watched this girl put on the cute bowtie and the miniskirt.
She finally put on the last bit of clothing on her rumpled outfit, muttered a goodbye and staggered out.
The guy continued stared at the wall where she was just sitting.
I cleared my throat twice, and he snapped out, grabbed his still open bag, with his stuff half falling out and jetted without even a goodbye.
The two girls looked up, completely confused and blinking from exhaustion. "koji...?" one of them called out weakly.
I finally managed to put the rest of the crap into my bag, shouldered it, got up, then looked at the two girls (still naked) half heartedly trying to organize their stuff. I contemplated for a few long seconds, sighed, sat back down, put down my bag, opened the pocket and retrieved my one remaining condom...
"Jya...nikaime wa?" <"So, who's up for round two?">
* A capsule hotel room is a 1m x 1m x 2m "hotel" room. Yes...5 people in that tiny space...
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