Japan, Travel Photos

Maid in Tokyo

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.

No, that’s not Hitler. He was dressed like a famous Japanese comedian.

This guy looks really bad-ass in his pumpkin hat, no?
Then, on Halloween night I went to a friend’s birthday party at the Hard Rock Cafe in Roppongi, where we danced around the restaurant to the YMCA and then posed for endless group photos. We (about 20 plus people) then went club-hopping and ended the night in a hookah bar.
Roppongi is a really seedy clubbing district in Tokyo, and by seedy, I mean prostitutes and pimps and touts on street corners that will literally grab you and try to pull you into their club. It’s ‘Pleasure Island from Pinocchio’ meets the Las Vegas strip. It’s also the only place in Japan where you’ll see more foreigners than Japanese, which is a reason some expats tend to avoid it. But I find going out in Roppongi fascinating and never, ever dull.
Like on Halloween night for example, a very drunk clown and his equally drunk pirate girlfriend inquired as to whether I was a man or a woman. Ha! I know with my pink wig and fishnet stalkings, I was looking a little tranny, but a drag queen? For real? And then Pirate Girlfriend actually felt me up. Like, “just checking!”
How clever of the Hard Rock to put their logo on all of the tortillas. Maybe that would explain why my plate of fajitas cost 30 dollars. That’s outrageously expensive, even for tourist Tokyo, don’t you think?

A friend’s pirate costume came with a sword…So we all took turns taking cheesy photos with it.

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!

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