International Friendship Party!
After several weekends of venturing all the way to Tokyo for entertainment, I decided to keep it a little closer to home this time and went only as far as Yokohama. I ventured out early in the day, and spent the afternoon exploring Harbor View Park, a pleasant little kouen with great views of the bay, and the Foreign Generals’ Cemetary, a unique and scenic hideaway that is the eternal resting place of people from 40 different countries.
I returned to base in late afternoon to go work out and change, and prepared for my evening plans–an “international friendship” party back in Yokohama. Unfortunately, I managed my time somewhat poorly and wasn’t able to leave as early as I wanted to. The party started at 6:30pm, but I didn’t get to Yokohama station until about 7:45… then, after waiting for my friend for another 20 mins, we hopped on the subway and arrived at about 8:30. That gave us a total of 30 mins before the party ended, so we decided to… sit at the bar next door and drink some beer instead. The entry fee was 3000 yen, and I wasn’t about to pay that much for a half hour of drinks.
Anyways, my friend and I spent the next hour munching on bar food and gawking as we watched the steady procession of girls leaving the party. The club reopened at about 10, with the same deal–3000 yen for nomihoudai (all you can drink). The bartender was from Chicago, and he treated us well by mixing our drinks light despite our protestations. This was a good thing because we were drinking for a good hour and half before the first people showed up. And, of course, they were guys. Over the next hour we stood by helplessly as the party turned into a downright sausage fest, and resigned ourselves to a night of drunken antics.
Fortunately, the night was not a complete debacle. I met a Japanese guy named Bun who was clearly a huge fan of America. Since I needed to make some male Japanese friends, in order to learn the masculine way of speech and avoid sounding like a schoolgirl, I decided this would be a good opportunity. My friend lived at the Negishi housing complex, which is a military installation, so Bun wanted to come back with us and step foot on “American soil.” We walked home, which took quite a while, and had some lively discussion in the meanwhile. Once we got to the base, however, we discovered that it was closed to guests until 7 in the morning. So, my friend went ahead and crashed at his house, while Bun and I wandered about in search of a place to eat, chat, and wait for the trains or the base to open. I can’t remember the name of the cafe we stopped at, but I vividly recall eating the shit out of a bowl of pork and rice. It was 400 yen and worth every penny.
We talked about all sorts of stuff, including a lengthy discussion of World War II. Later, as we were walking back to the base, I got Bun to laugh like a schoolgirl with a dissertation on the many uses of the word “fuck.” At one point I think he turned blue, probably after I taught him about splicing fuck into the middle of other words. He proceeded to do this with Japanese words as well, a la hajimefuckingmashite.
Of course, once we got back to the base, I discovered that the only identification Bun carried was a Waseda University student ID, which was woefully insufficient to gain entrance to the base. So, instead of crashing at my friend’s place, we… walked back to the station and rode the train home. Again. And this time I fell asleep and went way past my stop.