This weekend was my first since the departure of Manfriend, and so it was absolutely essential that it not be spent exclusively lurking beneath the covers with Sex and the City and chocolate. I am determined not to become one of those depressives who functions only in the vicinity of their other half, and so I turned to an old friend to help me through the hurdle: tequila.
It is because of this errant friend that I have not been outside in daylight since Friday afternoon. It hurts my eyes, ok?
Friday night kicked off with a delicious Thai dinner in Susukino. I had been craving Thai for some time, largely due to an unsatisfied addiction to corriander. I would have thought this herb sufficiently Asian to be found in these parts of the world, but it is nowhere to be found in the supermarkets of Sapporo. My Tom Yum soup was, therefore, extremely well-received, though so spicy as to remove large sections of my tongue. If my night had ended there, I probably would have gone to sleep, pleasantly fragranced with my favourite herb.. Alas. Upon the insistence of one seasoned Sapporo drinker, we ended up in the local tequila bar, somewhat ominously named "Raw Life" (which, amusingly, when spoken in Japanese-English comes out sounding like "Low Life"), where one can find 101 different types of tequila. My clearest memories of the night include: reading a book at the bar with two Japanese girls entitled "White Rabbit and Black Rabbit" (I'm pretty sure the rabbits got married at the end; I'm also pretty sure the book was in Japanese, so I have no idea how I actually managed to read the book); giving a Michigan girl advice on what medical condition to feign in order to pre-emptively terminate her contract with a Japanese Catholic school (if memory serves, we settled on endometriosis); finding a Clive Cussler novel in a corner of the bar and sitting down to read it with a Choco Pie I found in the bottom of my bag; and, finally, having to hold a fellow JET upright by means of a head lock in the taxi cab on the way home, in order to prevent him from causing a fatal accident (he had fallen fast asleep on the taxi driver's left arm, who was far too polite to tell him to feck off, and was therefore attempting to handle 3am traffic single-handedly).
Why do I always end up reading?
Anyway, Saturday night was the annual Christmas party, held by one Sagara Sensei, Japanese teacher to the majority of JETs living in Sapporo. It was held in a seedy part of Susukino, surrounded on all sides by host bars promising, among other things:
How do you turn that down?
Despite the location of the venue, the interior was far from seedy. No naked girls, no Man Baths, no dancing entertainment. I did find, however, this:
So I can't say I wasn't warned about this:
Why? Why? Why the bread? Why dogs? Why are they on the bar? Whyyyyy?
Once I managed to turn my eyes away from this confusing scene, there were good times to be had. Crab legs to be eaten. Moscow Mules to be drunken (yes). Bingo to be won. Karaoke to sing. After all, Taylor Swift wasn't going to sing herself now, was she (though that would be cool. Aside: do you think pop stars actually DO sing their own songs if they ever find themselves in karaoke booths in Japan? Because they really should. And imagine, for example, Britney Spears singing Miley Cyrus "Party in the USA"! What fantastic fusion!). Anyway, I got into the Christmas spirit:
Because it's not really Christmas unless you're wearing a battery-powered Santa hat, is it?
After the Christmas party, it should have been home time, but it wasn't. So about 15 of us set out for Pete's Bar, a gaijin bar a few blocks away. But not before really capitalizing on the location:
At Pete's Bar, I found tequila (which tasted like nail polish remover, which should have warned me AGAINST taking four shots thereof, but I never learn, do I?), but I also found this:
WHAT is with the proliferation of books and dogs in bars in Japan??
Anyway, been distracted by the above prevented me from participating in the below:
Which can only be a good thing.
(PS: You can tell I'm blogging hungover because I'm using all my photos in order to distract you from the fact that I'm not writing much. But it might be a welcome change from my usual novel-length postings. So soak it up. Be visual. Enjoy the colours. I'm going to go read some of the books I stole now).