Friday, September 08, 2006

Japan Subways Stop Way Too Early!

I was going to try to keep this blog in a specific order but I had one of the craziest nights a person can have! So, I'm writing this first before my big "This was my first day in Yokohama" entry. Enjoy the saga I like to call: "Trains, Tequila and a 5 o'clock Shadow"

So let me tell you a story about my first outing late at night to a bar. It was about 9:30 PM on Friday night and I decided to give my mom a ring to just say hello and see how things are back home. Just as I am about to dial I get a text message from Andrew saying that he and a couple of teachers from his branch are getting together for a couple of pints and that I am welcome to come along if I want. The bar is located at a subway stop I've never been to on a subway line I've never ridden. Nonetheless, I'm up for the adventure. So I write back stating that I'll be on my way, give my mom a call, get changed into something that looks bar-like and boot it out the door by 10 PM.

I make it to the bar with no problems. The subway system here is unbelievably easy to navigate if you just do a bit of travel right when you arrive. As I get out of the station I give Andrew a call and ask where the bar is. He tells me to turn to my left and, sure enough, the bar is right off of the subway station. Perfect, now I know that if I'm stumbling home I've got easy access. The bar itself is ridiculously cool: The Honey Cafe has no more than 5 4-person tables and about 9 bar stools, a very quaint environment. And when I walk in the bartender introduces himself and to my surprise he's an American who came over here to persue a career in music. Very cool guy, very chill. Hell, the bar even has a set of dominoes and Connect Four! The Dougler would be proud!

I meet up with Andrew's two teacher friends, who are a couple from the U.K. as well, and we all start to talking about random stuff. Two pints later and a free tequila shot bought by John, the American bartender (first free shot ever) and we are on our way to catch the last train. For some odd reason the train system stops running very early. We purchase our tickets and everyone is giving me advice on how to take the training and teaching (stuff I really needed) and we run to catch the last train. We launch ourselves into a car and...that's when we realize we are going the wrong way. Uh oh! We travel up one station move over to the other side of the tracks and realize that we are not getting to where we need to go tonight. Stranded in some weird area of Japan. This is going to be an interesting evening!

Emma, Andrew's teacher friend, comes up with an idea: one subway stop away she knows a guy named Jeff. He's also a teacher and his apartment has a decent-sized living room. And somehow, there is one last train running to the subway stop. What are the chances! So we hop that train once it arrives and head over to Jeff's house. Jeff is an American teacher who has two roommates: another American and a Brit. He asks me where I'm from and when I tell him he goes "We've got an international celebration up in here!" After a run to a local convenience store for food and pizza-flavoured potato chips that have real cheese melted onto them (so good!) Jeff and his roomies go to bed while the four of us castaways stay up most of the night and chat about movies and books and shit like that.

4 hours later, at 5 AM, the trains are back up running and we head over to catch one back home. We part ways, Andrew and I get home and crash. Hard! Poor Andrew had to work at 10 AM the next day but he's done this before. These Brits know how to party!


At 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrew's Pedanitc Japan Tip #004: When people who have never been to Japan offer you advice, that advice usually only applies to a specific section of the Tokyo Airport, regardless of what they themselves belive.

None of the above applies to me, of course. I've taken a class.

~ Andrew


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