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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Roppongi, Six Trees of Separation

Roppongi, Six Trees of Separation

Ah the night life, traffic lights and liquor. All a good mix.

My friend from University in Canada was living in Japan. His family worked for the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo so he invited me to stay with them. Sounded great I thought. I had forgot however, my friend was an alcoholic. Since I can’t drink worth a damn it didn't occur to me till I arrived this may be a mistake. “Dude, we are going to Roppongi tonight, let’s get smashed”, he told me. If you have never heard of Roppongi the Chinese/ Japanese characters means 6 trees. How bad could six trees be? Well, since I didn't know what Roppongi was notorious for, the answer is a lot. Its famous in Japan as a seedy place for foreigners looking to club hop, bar it up, go to cabarets, or massage girls (not neck massage) etc. As you know since its seedy there is a large yakuza (mafia) presence as well.
My friend convinced me that we would bike there and it would be awesome. By bike I mean bicycle not dirt bikes or some cool gas powered bikes as you are guessing. We started biking and I realized two thing. One I'm out of shape and two I was drunk as a skunk. There were tons of taxi’s all over the street. The traffic was terrible so we weaved, highly illegal I might add, through the taxis. I wondered if we would live the night. My friend fell against one taxi but got back on his bike and kept riding as if nothing happened. When we finally arrived, he informed me he wanted to start off at "The HUB", a foreigner bar. I said OK and followed him. We locked our granny bikes up and were just about to go inside. My friend seemed more tipsy than me and was like “Dude let’s go! Happy hour is almost over”. I wasn't too keen on drinking more. He started to run full sprint, the only problem was he didn't see the metal down door that had fallen down part way and smacked his head into it. It sounded like someone hit a gong and I started laughing. He was on his back not moving. I laughed for a few seconds until I realized he wasn't conscious. He seemed to be breathing, or at least I hoped. “Dude you OK?”, I asked. I couldn't remember the number of ambulance in Japan anyway, 112 or something, 911 doesn't work. He sat up and I noticed a gigantic goose egg on his head. I told him he had a little mark on his head. He didn't seem to care. He had just lost consciousness and probably had a concussion. Brains, what are they good for anyway. We headed into the bar and he ordered three “happy hour” drinks. I have no idea why he was having such a bad night, but his glass shattered in pieces while holding it. Literally he just had it in his hand and it shattered everywhere. I think they had the glasses in the freezer and the heat in the room made the glass unstable or something. Bah I have no idea, I'm not rocket scientist (although I do enjoy cosmology and occasionally alchemy as a side gig).
After that we left, he had drunk more than he should have. We ran into some nice Taiwanese girls. I asked them what they do and they said massage. I would love a neck massage, I was a bit stiff. I thought we were just chatting, but I soon realized they were trying to get us to come inside for a special massage. We were targets not friends. As we continued walking passed them this gigantic guy about 250 pounds came up and put his arm around my shoulders. I was making friends left and right tonight I thought. I wondered if he was from the U.S. I couldn't understand what he was saying, but I soon realized this was a ploy to put his arms around us to trick us into a bar he worked at. He was big so I didn't want to say no. Once we got in, I noticed we were the only white people. I didn't really care, except that no one was speaking English or Japanese, so I was super confused what was happening. Seems like everyone was an employee and they weren't from the U.S. I saw a flag that said Nigeria at the entrance. My friend didn't care and started dancing with the girls. The music wasn't Western, not that it matters. You can bump to anything you want. I started wondering what we had got ourselves into. Then all the sudden my friend started acting a bit crazy, semi yelling and not making sense. I wondered if this was an act or he was overly drunk. Perhaps both. I read later the Nigerian bars are famous for spiking the drinks and using high pressure tactics to entice you into bars with 250 pound dudes. If you don’t believe me read Wikipedia. Luckily I didn't drink there, just entered and stood out like a sore thumb.
One of these doesn't belong here. I felt like the odd man out.

We headed to the next bar at around 3AM. It was super stuffy and I was thirsty. My friend continued drinking and headed to the bathroom. When he came out, he was like “Dude I threw up in the urinal. I'm good to drink more”. I was like oh no. A bartender came up to us, “Someone threw up in the urinal, know anything about it?”. My friend who was a great liar answered “Ya, he had black hair and blue eyes he just headed downstairs”. The bartender went downstairs. This was the exact opposite of what we looked like. He’s smart even when he’s an idiot. I told him we should leave, since he’s an idiot. He agreed to both and we went outside. We couldn't find our bikes, so we started to walk home. Either the spot we left them was wrong or the Nigerians club guys got them. 
As we walked I saw a guy with a Nike hat that looked like Tiger Woods. He had a bodyguard looking guy with him.The next day I watched the news and it showed Tiger Woods highlights of him playing golf in the Tokyo region over the last few days. I wondered if I had seen him. 
If it was him I should have told him to avoid the Nigerian bars.

What was Tiger up to in Roppongi? Hmmmm....

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