The last two weeks I’ve been on Halloween overload. I threw no less than seven Halloween parties for my students (dressed like Minnie Mouse) and then this girl I met a few months ago in Yoyogi park invited me to a Halloween Party she threw at a bar in Shibuya. It’s more common in Japan to rent out a bar for a few hours then throw a party at your house. This is partly because apartments are small but also because people are a little more private here and less willing to open their homes to random, drunken strangers.
I was a little apprehensive about attending her party, mainly because I wasn’t sure if there would be any English-speakers there. Now, you’re probably thinking “Well, then it’d be the perfect opportunity to practice Japanese!” And well, that’s true. But my Japanese is still in the beginning stages so my conversation topics are really limited to “Things Found in a Grocery Store” and “Asking for Directions in a Train station”, and there’s really only so far you can go with that.
So this makes ‘mingling’ at parties tough. And I can’t really stand there and expect people to approach me, because Japanese people are usually just as shy to talk to me as I am to talk to them. Usually smiling at people helps, or approaching the really drunk ones, because they’re always willing to give JapanGlish a try. But it’s still involves a lot of silences where we nod, smile and stare at one another, which (for me at least), is always awkward. Japanese people live comfortably in long, drawn-out silences and will often pause mid-sentence or sort of trail-off, leaving me to hurriedly come up with something to say. I haven’t gotten accustomed or comfortable with that just yet.
But I had a surprisingly fun time! And everyone was really friendly. I think it helped that I was one of the few people there decked out in full costume, because it was a great conversation starter. A lot of the girls were wearing only partial costumes, (regular clubbing clothes paired with a witch hat, for example) or if they were wearing the full costume, they toned down the slut-factor by wearing a sweater or jeans underneath what was meant to be a skimpy, sexy, outfit. Cheating, in my opinion.
Mmmm…That perfectly unobstructed, clear photo was taken by yours truly. Whatever, it was four in the morning! It’s bean sprouts smothered in spicy meat, which is the Tokyo “Post Clubbing Munchies” equivalent of a slice of pizza. It looks gross but it tasted really good!