Getting to Tokyo with $60

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May 19th 2008
Published: May 19th 2008
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After a night of doing ____...6:30am
This week has been a blur.

Last Friday me and D-German hosted a party at our apartment where we gave hamburgers to everyone and they brought beer, we got a little drunk with a select group of people, met our ginger haired Minnesota neighbor with a black grandfather, then when we were cleaning up the mess, we decided to do _______, we were up until 7am, collapsed asleep, then that same evening made dinner for Yuriko (Shortstop) and her roommate, a few days of school blurred past with a few trips to the gym, a few trips to various neighborhoods, a few trips to the library studying, a pressure-racked midterm, a poker night at our apartment and D-German and I getting excited cause we thought he got himself a Mexican girl (false alarm).

Then it was Thursday night.

I had just aced my midterm but I was in no mood for celebrating. I was dead tired from the toll of socializing and studying.

I was sitting in my kitchen across from D-German as he amused himself with a pair of dice. We were talking about our summer plans-we needed to make money if we were going to

Confirmation of our crazy night
go to Tokyo this summer (I had recruited D-German in this scheme to go to Tokyo). We put it off—there was no way we could make $4,000 between the two of us on top of the money we needed for tuition. Besides, we were both flat broke—together we had maybe $60 between us.

We were both tired and since nothing was on the schedule for the night, we lazily moved the subject from Tokyo to how we needed to end our respective single status.

We quickly lost creative ways of sarcastically bashing each other for our ineptness in picking up women and we tried to find ways to kill the idle evening.

I decided to teach him the Japanese gambling game that Yakuza play, Chou ka han ka, since he was playing with dice. One of the easiest games to learn, you roll two dice within a cup, you place money on odd or even and if the sum is what you chose, you get 1:1.

He rolled the dice as I randomly guessed odd or even with fake money. Of course, my “winnings” ebbed and flowed but we both noticed I never went in the
The Tokyo FundThe Tokyo FundThe Tokyo Fund

A drawer filled with loose change in hopes of reaching the $4,000 needed to get to Tokyo.
red…and I was up +6 at one point.

We switched and D-German was the same. He kept hitting and after 20 games or so, he had never gone under and was up +8 at one point.

”I guess we’re really lucky today…”

“We should try harnessing our luck and making money…”

“What gives 1:1 odds though…”

“The casino…”

“Red/black roulette…”

We both looked at each other. Excited.

But we’re both smart university students.

“No, no. This is a stupid idea. This is how people lose their money.”

D-German grabbed the dice, violently shook it and slammed it down.

“Odd or even Gen.”


He peered under his hands.

And smirked at me.

He opened his hands.

A two…and a three.


Holy shit. I started grinning. He started grinning.

D-German’s smile faltered. “But how are we getting there? It’s 12:35am.”


“It’s 7km one way…”


“No. Bike will take too long.”

It was his turn.

I snatched the dice and flung it onto the table, my palms shielding.

“Odd or even, Dave?”


A four…and a four.


“Ok, biking. But we only have one bike…who else has a bike?”


He shook the dice. “Call John. Odd or even?”


A five and a one.

I frantically thumbed through my phone for John’s number…

It rang.

Once…Twice…Thrice…Four times…Five…voice message.


I tried thinking of other people…

I grasped the dice. “Call Yuriko. Odd or even?”


Two threes.

He jumped out of his seat and sprinted to his cell. Ear pressed to his phone, excitement mounting on his face as he stared at what was probably a mirror reflection in my face.

“Hi Yuriko, can we borrow your bike?”

I heard the screamed response: “WHAT?! I’M IN A CLUB! WOOOHOOO!”

He thumbed the cell closed.

“Yuriko’s at a club,” he said somewhat redundantly, depressingly.

“Shit. We don’t know anyone else with a bike do we?”


We both sighed, the red in our faces wilting out.

“I guess two guys who can’t even pick up girls won’t be able to pick up a bike either.”


Then it hit me.

I swept my hand, grabbed the dice and slammed it onto the table. “Your Mexican girl. Odd or Even?”

“Mexican girl? Oh, wait…No, no, no…Gen…come on…”

I held his gaze. “Odd or even, Dave.”

He tried to look nonchalant, “Fine, odd.”

We both leaned forward as my quivering hand was slowly lifted.

A two. A one.


He called her up.

Yes, she had a bike. And yes she was willing to lend it to us.

We threw on some respectable clothes (dress code) and raced out of the house, D-German still on the phone.

Then D-German’s phonecall started getting a little personal, so I walked on the opposite side of the street to give him some privacy.

D-German’s phonecall ended (“I’m back in the game! She said she wants to meet me again!”—we high-fived), we got to an ATM, took out $60 (minimum bet is $50 for roulette and ATM’s only dole out 20’s—remember, this is also our last $60), got to this girl’s house, got her bike and started off.

I was riding slightly behind D-German (he knew the way there) and thought of the complete absurdity of what we were doing.

Two young men, dressed in blazers, coat tails flapping in the wind, on top of rusty, cheap ass mountain bikes, blazing along the side of the highway at 1:00am in the fucking morning to get to the casino to blow our last $60 based on a hunch from a pair of dice tossed in a Japanese yakuza game.

I love my life.

After I had pulled a muscle and spent ten minutes stretching it on some highway overpass and D-German had gotten repeatedly lost on the Quebec highway system, we finally saw the lights of the casino in the distance.

We decided right then. $50 on red, $5 each on whatever street, split or number we wanted.

Hair disheveled from the wind, smelling like crap from the sweat pouring off of our bodies and panting from the ride, we stumbled in.

We gathered ourselves in the foyer, adjusted our clothes and “brushed the dirt off our shoulders” and then marched confidently towards the roulette table.

Security stopped us and repelled us backwards back into the lobby.

Oh shit. What did we do? Oh fuck.

We both glanced at each other, then looked around. What did we do? Did we break some law? What’s happening? What the hell?

And one of the security guys pointed directly at me.

I cringed.

Oh fuck, what did I do?

“ID please.”

After we showed ID and got in, we again marched towards the roulette table. Plopped our $60 on the table, got our chips, placed two $25 chips on red, my $5 on a street with 7,8,9, D-German’s $5 on 19,20,21, lounged back grinning at each other as the ball started spinning (“Easiest way to make money.”, “Tokyo, here we come!”), the ball bounced a bit, we smirked, leaned back in our seats, ready to collect as it bounced around.

It finally settled on 6.

Black 6.

After staring for two seconds, we stumbled out as fast as we stumbled in and collapsed on some steps out of sight of the casino.

In two minutes we had lost $60.

We sat on the steps for about thirty minutes or so…moping. What the fuck are we going to do?

That was the last $60 between us.

We laughed, slightly delirious (it was 3am), heads in our hands, made a pact to never to come back and decided to participate in studies to try to recoup this loss.

Fuck. We were hosting a party at our house tonight. A hot dog party. We were making hot dogs for people. Hot dogs cost money—especially if the guest list is 25 people. Fuck.

Fuck. What about the bikes? Where the fuck did we toss them in the excitement of going into the casino? Fuck.

The bikes we found (“Your luck returns!” my sarcastic inner self gloated) and after tiredly weaving back to our house while inhaling exhaust from cars, we collapsed into our kitchen, completely exhausted, hungry, $60 down and trying to piece our lives together at 6am.

We signed up for some surveys and studies in hopes of recouping this loss while cooking (the last of our) food.

As I tiredly searched through the database of surveys on McGill’s website, I checked my email.

1 new message.

J-ZN confirmed she was coming to the party tonight (“It sounds like fun! 😊 See you there :P”)

“J-ZN’s coming to the party! And you have the Mexican girl! She’s coming too!”

“Oh man, right! At least we got something out of tonight.”

I tossed it.

“Odd or Even we’ll get laid tomorrow?”


Two fives.



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