A night which shall live in infamy
I have only two pictures on my phone from last night, but they quite succinctly capture the essence of the evening.
While looking for places to eat in Tokyo, I discovered an excellent website: www.bento.com/tokyofoodpage. There is also a small blog for beer connoisseurs there, and I read about a pub in Ryogoku which has 70 beers on tap. Yesterday was the last day of their “OctoBEERfest” special, which featured ten craft beers from around Japan. I hadn’t had a smashing (the British kind) night of drinking yet since I got here, so I decided to make the trip. As a sailor, I also couldn’t resist patronizing an establishment named “POPEYE.”
Looking at the pictures, you probably already know what happened next. I intended to wet my palate with a sampling of the beers, but I soon realized that the special was all-or-nothing. Fortunately, it was a very good icebreaker with the gentlemen sitting next to me. I mean, the least I could do was to provide some lively conversation to make up for taking everyone’s bar space with my rack of beer. I learned several new useful words and expressions, such as okiniiri, and played the part of ambassador by handing out a copy of the CVN 73 manga. And I hate to boast, but I think I represented sailors well by holding my liquor. A man next to me literally fell asleep in his chair after polishing off an OctoBEERfest, and the guy I had been talking to said that this often happens.
I enjoyed myself immensely at the pub, and I was prepared for the steep price tag… Beer in Tokyo is not cheap. Unfortunately, by closing time, the trains to Yokosuka had stopped running, so I had to find a way to pass the night until the first morning trains. One of the men I was with recommended Roppongi, with the reasoning that passing a night in Roppongi is something of a rite of passage for foreigners living in Japan. I will not go into details, but suffice it to say that Roppongi had its way with me. You know those Nigerian bank scams? Yeah, I think Nigerians are the masters of relieving dumb people of their money. After six hours at the pub, I had become said dumb person. No regrets, though… it was a priceless experience. However, that is the last time I will venture into Roppongi alone.