Nov 21 2003

It finally became closing time at the hostess club, and we had to leave. Then followed what is probably the most surreal experience of my whole life. I think I’ll refrain from describing it, though; some things are best not divulged to the whole world. Don’t worry, though; I didn’t do anything evil. Following absolute weirdness, we made our way to a public bath. This place was pretty classy, despite the questionable Engrish on this sign: it was several floors, with all varieties of baths, massage facilities, lounges, sleeping areas, a restaurant, and exercise equipment. Combined with the manga-kissa, it pretty much eliminates the need for a home. We checked in at about 4 or 5 in the morning, moved around between hot baths, cold baths, indoor baths, outdoor baths, saunas, and showers, ate breakfast (and shaved-ice), and took a one-hour nap. At around 10, Matsui-san left for work. It’s pretty common to work all night, go out afterwards, and stay out until it’s time to go back to work. Somehow they don’t die from it. Not right away, anyway. At 12:00 we were to meet Gou to go see Zatouichi, the newest movie from the legendary Beat Takeshi. I managed to stay awake through the (good) movie, we had some Wendy’s, and then it was time for me to meet up with Tets. I got to log some solo Japan time while waiting for Tets; it was kind of nostalgic to summon up my old walking-through-Tokyo-crowds powers and to just wander around Shinjuku with my iPod on. Tets and Mahou showed up; I could probably write a whole book about Tets but I’ll just say that he’s probably the most interesting person I’ve ever met in my life. After hanging out with that dynamic couple for a few hours, I came back to Andy’s to find Gou and him watching One Piece DVDs. Gou works at the One Piece shop in Ikebukuro, and is required to be familiar with the storyline of the comic-turned-anime. After a few episodes, Gou packed up and went home. Then, finally, we slept. Thus ended the weird Saturday night, on Sunday night.