THE BEAT DON’T STOP IT DOESN’T STOP

Roppongi is everything I’d been led to believe. Nigerians appear at your side and wax lyrical in a hybrid English/West African/American accent about this awesome bar just down the street, nah just back here, it’ll change your life. Young Japanese women in tight, skimpy dresses flit from bar to bar looking for hot (or not so hot) foreigners to attach themselves to, of which there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, likewise looking for cute Japanese girls to feed their Yellow Fever. When the sun rises, everybody is still going, and they keep going until they fall asleep.

Am I making it sound good? Some sort of Platonic ideal of a nightspot? It isn’t. It’s a meatmarket, a parade of flesh, where the seedy and moralless come to get their kicks. (I shouldn’t be bandying words like moralless about, not from my position, but it feels apt.) Image is everything. The music in the bars is too loud to talk over and, most of the time, too shitty to dance to. Women live off free drinks, bought for them by men who are sure they’ve cottoned on to their lucky ticket for the night. Not necessarily bad people, just… not my people.

I was surprised at how Christchurch it all was. Music too loud to talk over? Check. Music too shitty to dance to? Check. Overpriced drinks? Check x3. The only difference was that people were a bit more approachable – like, where in Christchurch I would stick to people I knew, here I could talk to strangers without them insulting me or leaving immediately. Like I said, though, a voice as mumbly and inflectionless as mine can’t easily be heard over the din, so I ended up resorting to the dancefloor. Truly, it’s perfect if you go out looking for a piece of ass, but I won’t be going back in a hurry. (Disclaimer: I do in fact like good pieces of ass, provided that’s not all they’re advertising.)

I went there with E. (Wish he was still writing – he wrote a far more poetic and vivid description of Roppongi than this, but his site’s long dead.) He lives in the most opulent, comfortable living space I’ve ever occupied – and yes, K, that includes 505. Plus it’s five minutes from Hachiko Crossing. Coming home to my shitty room in my shitty flat has never more difficult. Although it isn’t as bad as it was: turns out I’ve been living here for seven weeks without using the air conditioner placed conveniently above my bed. All this time I’ve been sweating my way through nights in a stinky, humid room, keeping the window shut to keep out bastard insects, when I could’ve been sleeping in blissful comfort. What a prize idiot.

Oh, you want to hear about work? It’s all right. Same old same old. I did mock interviews for the flight attendant class at Yokohama last Tuesday – like, I was the stern executive asking them hard questions such as “Could you spell your name?” and “What do you like to do in your free time?”, for all of which they’d prepared and memorized answers. As they spoke, their eyes flitted back and forth as though they were reading off a page. If they spoke at all, that is – they were nervous as hell. Most of my debrief revolved around telling them to relax in interviews and trust themselves. After all, it worked for me!

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