Monday, October 30, 2006

Bowling for Vanilla Gaijins *updated v2.0!*

Burninating the Updates!!1!one - for those of you who may have already read through this, i through in a lil update down a few paragraphs ^^

I never really went clubbing at all in the US, and I’m not sure how much I’ll be doing of it here in Japan, but getting into Vanilla in Roppongi for free like that cant be beat. I didn’t have to buy a drink or anything, it rocked. The only problem is that not being able to go home until 5am can be rather bothersome, since it takes a good hour to get back, especially from Roppongi. Throw into the mix being extremely tired as well, oy vey, lol. The trick is to go until 4 or so, then go to a delicious ramen shop or yoshinoya or something, and catch the 1st train out. But that’s usually a pretty packed train, and after dancing or w/e for 5 or 6 hours, yur usually not really up to standing on a train for 45 min… then again… I usually do that everyday anyways… meh

Anyhoo, lots of interesting and funny costumes at the club. Oh, and I gotta say that one was much more enjoyable than the one I was kinda… dragged to in Shibuya last time (which was actually my 1st time at a club). We were gonna go to Harlem in Shibuya, which is a pretty big/popular one so I’m told, but they wouldn’t let us in, one of our friends either had shorts on or… w/e, they can be real strict on who they let in, I mean… it is they’re club, they can let in whomever they want or don’t want ya know, anyways, that time we ended up in some no-name club next door, I believe called… 27 Destiny… but how in the world do you compete against the biggest popular club that’s right next door right? In comparison to Vanillia, 27 Destiny was like… a bar with a thin dance floor. I was also extremely tired from jet lag at the time, and couldn’t hear a thing cause the music was so obnoxiously loud. Ugh.

Vanilla was fun though. Its really really big, and I’m told its one of the most famous clubs in Japan, so its just cool at least to say that I’ve been there. This place was gigantic though. 2 floors with different types of music. The 1st floor had a large hip-hop dance floor, and as well a smaller House dance floor in a different area. And then the 2nd floor was a huge All-mix floor, primarily techno-style music. I like some hip-hop, but not everything, I’m more of a techno kind of guy. Plus, hip-hop/rap tends to get a lil… too dirty? for my tastes, idk. I just... like techno, and actually I really understand the appeal of the techno club life for a moment last night.

Of course I enjoy techno myself, so that appealed more to me in the first place, but the dancing was different than the hip-hop floor. The hip-hop floor was more dancing with a girl or something (which of COURSE I enjoy, don't get me wrong), but the techno floor was like… dancing more with the music and just having a good time. Plus I got this really big Japan vibe from the crowd in the upper floor, its difficult to explain but like… we basically like, started a chant to the beat when it started a new phrase. Some ppl or… idk how it turned into that but like, boy this is hard to explain, I’ll find a video on YouTube later to show ya, its really fun, cause everyones doin the same thing and such with the beat. Kinda like… seeing everyone do some certain dance to a song or something that you don’t know, but you look close, figure it out, and then you start dancing with em, and everyones dancing together and it’s a lot of fun right? Kinda like that

****************** Update **********************
***I seem to be unable to find a good video atm, and one example i can think of i dont think would exactly work, theres too much... otaku'ness in that video, although, i suppose it would help get a better idea of what i'm talkin about... woah holy crap, a new video!! and they're way worse in this one, they get off beat right away, hilarious!!! anyways, imagine a cooler version of the sort of 'chanting' they're doing, and that should do, most of the videos of clubs i found were too loud or there was too much bass to make anything out anyways
for the mean time, enjoy one of the more awesome crazy happenings of Japan, man i love this place, i have some videos of my own kinda similar that i'll be uploading to my YouTube account after i compress them, despite my camera taking compressed video, it... doesnt really seem to do that well of a job compressing the video... meh

Oh, and I’ve been meaning to touch a bit on a certain subject: Gaijin (foreigners) So, last night was my first time going to Roppongi, and I hadn’t really made any big effort to go there prior mainly because of one reason: Gaijin. Roppongi is pretty much the main place that a lot of the foreigners in Tokyo go to. In other words, theres a lot of them. Especially at Vanilla, where women and foreigners get in at a discounted price usually, aka: they’re encouraged to go there. Now call me crazy, but one of my primary reasons for being in Japan is to have an active social life speaking Japanese with my Japanese friends. I can hang out with all the gaijin I want in the states, although… gaijin in the states would be… well I’m here to hang out with Japanese friends not white ppl, lol (no offence anyone who’s here in Japan reading this, lets hang out, its totally cool, don’t worry). But see here’s the only problem:

…I’m a gaijin -_-

Its really weird, cause I’ve definitely been adapting a quite Japanese viewpoint without even realizing it of trying to not involve myself with all those stupid gaijin >_< For instance, I was on the train, on my way to Roppongi by myself yesterday evening. I switched from the JR Shonan-Shinjuku line to the Hibiya Subway line at Ebisu (got that?) I noticed a few gaijin around the station, as I figured I’d be seeing more and more the closer I got to Roppongi, haha. Now keep in mind from your own vantage point, you cant really see yourself. So when yur surrounded by a bunch of Japanese ppl who all share similar features, you eventually being to assume that you yourself must blend in with them. Its quite an errie feeling, which you don’t often realize until you look at pictures or something with yourself in them at the end of the day, heh. Anyways, I get on the train and sit down when I see another foreigner sitting on the other side of the train in… jeans and a polo or w/e. Now I have no idea what set me off, maybe it was the way he dressed (foreigners’ style is just terrible in comparison to Japanese, why do u think I started dressing better the last semester before I came here?) Anyways, I remember looking at this guy and thinking, “ahh… a gaijin? Oy vey,” or something along those lines. Basically, a generally negative type feeling. Well, this was then suddenly followed up by, “oh crap… I bet I look exactly same as he does on this train to everyone else… dangit!”

So in fact, I myself am one of those stupid gaijin, and no matter what I do, just because of the way I look I’ll never cease to be a stupid gaijin. I have been taking every step I possibly can for the things I can do to avoid the baka gaijin title, and I have been having a descent amount of success. Actually, funniest thing ever last night. It was around 4 in the morning, and we were dead tired as u can imagine, just sitting around a small table chatting. First a (Japanese) friend of mine mentioned that I looked a lot like one of her good Japanese friends as far as face, hair, etc. So, there was kind of an implication that I looked sort of Japanese. I didn’t know if I should feel complimented or not, it was just kinda a funny moment.

Well this was then proceeded by another friend of mine (I think Spanish) who mentioned that she thought I was actually a half (half Japanese half… anything else). I was completely taken aback, this time I really didn’t know whether or not to feel complicated or w/e, I was just in totally shock on the comment. But at the same time… I felt a great sense of accomplishment? Well her reasoning was that for one, my Japanese is supposedly doing quite well and sounds natural. As well supposedly my features, this part relating to the 1st comment, could have been a convincing for a half. It was just… weird. Now contrary to what most of my friends probably believe, I’ve never actually wish I were ever a difference race, be in Japanese or w/e. I’m quite content with being an American of German descent. I would think I would find life quite… depressing if I wished I were something else. The only feeling towards being Japanese now is purely a ‘wanting to blend in’ desire. Since, no matter how much Japanese mannerisms or language I know, my 190 cm height (6’ 3”), blonde hair, and facial features will never come close to blending in. Especially the height factor. I’m gonna be takin some pictures of myself in a crowd eventually, you gotta see it, its so funny seein my head stick out, haha.

Anyways, as one of my goals is to do the best I can to avoid all stereotypical baka gaijin mannerisms and such, upon hearing that I looked/acted in a Japanese fashion, I felt… incredibly complimented, haha. Laugh all you want, but I’m gonna use that as confidence, especially for this 5 min speech I’m gonna be doing Friday, ugh.

As for today, good day ^_^ Got to sleep in again, which I was FAR overdue for extra sleep, but it seems like I’ll be missing out on that sleep tonight a little. Of course that’s what happens when yur out till 7:30, and sleep in till 3pm. I need to limit myself to only doing things on Firday nights instead of Saturday, cause then you have Sunday to make up for throwing yur sleep cycle a whack. Oh, and now that I’ve gotten a good rhythm down for my daily activities, its about time I get around to finding a Lutheran Church around here. It definitely exists, its just difficult (and at times saddening) to get around to those things when an extremely small percentage of the population is Christian. Well Sophia was founded by Jesuit, and has I believe Catholic masses on Sundays… meh

Anyways, what did I do today...

“Hey, you uhh… wanna go bowling? Were leavin at 18”

“…yea ok”


Yes, I went to the bowling alley on the 6th floor of Don Quixote and had pizza delivered to our lane there. When they say those department stores have everything, they really do have everything, not kidding. There was also a game center there (typical), and the usually groceries and other usual department store things. I don’t remember what was on some of the other floors though, I’ll have to get back to you on that. But yes, I went bowling in Japan for the 1st time, and it was cool. Very fun to see all the difference between American and Japanese bowling alleys. I’ve only been to 1 so far of course, so I cant say that that one necessarily represents all of Japan bowling, but I’m sure others are similar. Lets see, what were the differences I noticed…

IMG_8436The shoes were like… Velcro shoes, oh, and they were of course labeled in centimeters, but yea… Velcro, it felt like I was wearing kid shoes, haha. Also the actual bowling lane was quite impressive, complete with the screen switching to a close up camera view on your pins right before yur ball hits them. Take that American bowling. The scoring was more of the same, but much more detailed, i took lots of pictures so you can see the differences yourself. It did of course, have that general feel of Japanese… extra service. Some bowling alleys can get dusty and a lil dirty depending on where you go, but this place was nice and clean and well kept up, like most places in Japan, complete with 2 towels at each ball return for the 2 lanes for… whatever purpose you wanna use that towel for, wiping off the ball I guess, w/e. Basically stuff that I’d never really seen as common in the US.

Very fun, but a lil pricey (as is everything in Tokyo) at 500 yen a game. I’m told they don’t really have the sweet deals like we do in the states where you can do unlimited bowling all night for 10 bux (man what a sweet deal). But I’m definitely gonna be keeping a good eye out for it. Plus that place would be a cool fun thing to do on a date ^_^ gotta show off my American bowling skills, all that hard work bowling with ‘Better than Batman, Superman, and Catwoman Combined” is gonna pay off one of these days. Wait a minute, it already has, I freakin won a bowling trophy bak in Minneapolis, haha, yea, thats way cooler >_<

And afterwards, since I was already at Don Quixote, I decided to do some shopping for some other necessity items I needed. Ya know, don’t you usually buy toilet paper, dish rags, etc after you go bowling? I mean, its in the same building right? lol, ended up takin a while and buyin a number of things there, but its all stuff I needed, now my room is is much better order and convenience. I did have to wander back to Azalea from Don Quixote by myself though, kinda a pretty good distance, about 15-20 min walk I think? But I managed, not exactly the most direct route… but I made it back, woo

Well its almost 2 am here, I should be getting tired sooner or later now, writing this was supposed to help in that cause, lets find out if its working or not… unfortunately the shower may cancel all of this out… bleh


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