Gotta get up, I gotta get goin'
I'm gonna see a friend of mine
He's round and he's fuzzy
I love him because
He's just Pooh Bear, Winnie the Pooh Bear
Lookin' for fun, chasin' some hunny bees
Pooh Bear I know he's out there
Rumblee tumblee, climbin' a hunny tree
Fun never ends for us, we're so adventurous
Least every now and again
And when we're alone and there's nobody home
It's nice to be able to count on a friend
Like Pooh Bear, Winnie the Pooh Bear
Wherever you go, oh won't you take me please
Pooh Bear, I gotta be there
It's me and it's you
Silly old Winnie the Pooh . . .
Well, that's quite enough of that. I just wanted to get that out there though, which I am sure will be greatly appreciated by those of you that loved The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
as kids. Then again, I may have totally misjudged this. Anyway...
This is going to be a post about a night out in Japan, but it is going on this blog as this blog is still the true home of all my stories of misfortune and ranting about stuff, of which this post is likely to contain a great amount. Hmm I'm not sure that last sentence was grammatically correct and now that has got me thinking about spelling mistakes. Lame. I really should get MS Word reinstalled so I can check this stuff. Once again I see I have gone fantastically off topic. So now, without further ado, I shall get to the meat off this post - which is to be the disaster that has been the last few days.
Firstly - Tuesday. Tuesday I finished my 1-9pm shift at work and then trekked over to Yokohama with some friends (Sam and Sophie) knowing that Nova would have paid me my salary advance (good thing too as I was utterly broke, save for about £12), to get some cash out and go for food and drinks. I went to my bank and was greeted by a bank balance of 0 yen. Needless to say, I was a long way from impressed. I forgot about it and went for a couple of beers and food regardless and then went home knowing that I now had 2 days off to enjoy.
Wednesday. On wednesday I met up with Yimin and went back to the cash machine again. Once again I was met with a distinctly empty bank account. This posed me with quite a dilemma as I only had about £5 left and I don't get paid until September 15th. I rang Nova and after much confusion it transpired that after an administration error, that I was out of pocket and that I would not be able to get my advance until the following tuesday. This meant that I somehow was supposed to live for 1 week on £5. Now given that I spend £2.50 every day just going to work and back, this clearly wasn't going to happen. Yimin came back to mine and we watched Silent Hill and I educated him in the ways of British comedy. He was then kind enough to lend me 10,000 yen (about £50) to tide me over till tuesday. This could be added onto the £20 I already owed Sam from a previous night out.
Later in the day I was then contacted by Sophie who convinced me that inspite of my financial crisis, that I should totally go for a night out and that she would lend me the money. Now even though I knew this was a bad idea, I agreed anyway. Yimin and myself met Sophie in Yokohama and got the train to Shibuya in Tokyo. Sophie lent me another 10,000 yen putting my current debts to about £120. We went to a 200yen bar where all the beers are (guess what) 200 yen. The glasses are about 2/3 pint size and you usually get a good inch of head, so the beers are actually about £1 (more like 80p with current exchange rates I suppose) for a half pint. This really is very very cheap for Japan, or atleast for the area where I live and certainly for Tokyo. Sophie stayed for 1 drink before going with a date somewhere else in Shibuya. Yimin and I continued drinking until we eventually met up with Dawn (who had managed to get the train past Tokyo and had to double back) and Sam who had been working a late shift that day. We were also joined by two Americans called Evan and Eren who were both fresh out of training and were kind of weird. We met up with Sophie again as well who had finished her date and decided to come out with us instead.
We got taxis over to Roppongi
(which I have mentioned in passing on Katakandy
I believe). This place is basically a scummy hole. It lures the sleaziest of Gaijin there and really isn't worth going to very often - as I soon learned. We headed to a club called Lexington Queen where you can pay £15 entry and then get free drinks all night and they stamp your hand so you can go in and out as you please. It is the club that I had a good time at last time I was in Roppongi (even though it only has about 2 Japanese people in the whole place, which is kinda lame). Unfortunately we arrived there to find that it is closed on wednesdays and sundays as of August 1st.
This forced us to look elsewhere for entertainment. Unfortunately it soon became apparent that every other bar in Roppongi is very very expensive. They all offer a discounted first drink of £2.50, which then goes up to £4/5 for every subsequent drink. We tried a couple of places before settling on the very first bar we tried which was essentially like a very narrow corridor underground with a bar all the way along it and a tiny dance floor at one end. Atleast it was rammed and they were playing bangin chowns so that was atleast something. Also, women got free champaign and all their drinks were £2.50 so we were getting the girls to buy us stuff. I was very annoyed about the ridiculous prices at first but this soon got replaced by alcohol fueled merriment. At this point it seemed like the night might not be a total wash out. How wrong I was...
I noticed there was a trio of really hot women at the bar who were getting quite a lot of attention. They noticed me notice them and so there was some smiley smiley and then they came and danced up against me a bit which seemed ace at the time. A guy from the Isle of Mann then came up to me and upon finding out that I was British he consequently warned me that the hot women were infact hot ladyboys. My confusion was matched only by my disappointment. Though at the time I was just laughing lots as I couldn't quite believe it and found it rather gigglesome. Even more so after we let them go off with some French and Swiss guys who were going to be in for an interesting evening. Still - that was certainly a real eye opener. You'd think that for the interest of public safety that if a man is intent on becoming a woman that he could atleast have the common courtesy to do a bad job of it so that it is obvious for the rest of us. There was one who had stuck to such ideals as he/she looked like Uncle Fester in a wig.
Anyway, by about 4/5ish we left that club and travelled over to McDonalds for breakfast. Although it actually turned out to be dinner as we got there 15 mins before they were due to start serving the breakfast menu.
Upon leaving McDonalds the night took a turn for the worse again. Sophie ran off towards the train station, quickly followed by Sam who was carrying a very drunk Yimin. I was right behing them, but then noticed that we had left Dawn behind. I stopped and waited for her but then turned around to notice the others had disappeared. I rang them to find out where they were and their directions of "left" proved utterly unhelpful as there was absolutely nothing in that direction. I asked a passing Japanese person who directed us down...
[Ok this post may seem a little disjointed now, as I wrote all of the above about a week ago and am now finally going to finish it. Anyway - let's see how it goes.]
a flight of stairs into an underpass. It didn't appear to be connected to anything train related at all. During the walk down the stair, Dawn tripped and fell down the last two and landed on her knee, which was utterly busted in the experience. This was one of those 'Oh no - what do I do now?' moments. She managed to stagger along out of the underpass and then I hailed us a taxi and took her to hospital. As I am sure you can imagine - hospitals in non-English speaking countries are an interesting experience; especially at 6am when you haven't been to bed yet and have been busy all night filling you head with fluids.
We managed to explain the situation and so the nurses took Dawn off for tests etc. I promptly fell asleep in the waiting room on one of the benches. I woke up to find that Dawn was no where to be found. I didn't have my phone with me and had no idea where it had gone. Someone had also been nice enough to put a blanket over me as well, although I did feel kind of like a homeless person. I managed to find a nurse and convey that I was looking for Dawn, or as I put it "American. Bad Knee [with gestures].". She took me to Dawn who fortunately had my phone, so all was well - well, kind of. It transpires that Dawn's knee was totally busted and that she needed to have surgery, so they were going to keep her in for a few days and give her surgery the next day.
I stayed with her till 10am, before she finally convinced me that she would be fine so I went home and got some sleep. Well - I say I went home. I was still in the middle of Tokyo with no real clue as to how to get back. I got a taxi to Shibuya and then spent about 20 minutes finding the station and then another 30 minutes finding the right platform. Shibuya station is like a maze - it makes Heathrow look ridiculously easy to navigate in comparrison. Anyway, I finally got home by 1pm and got some sleep until about 5pm. Minutes after waking up I got to experience my first earthquake. The whole house started to shake and I just thought "It's probably just a train", but then I remembered that I live no where near the train station. The shaking then got slightly stronger, so it suddenly clicked that it was an earthquake. It was kind of surreal, but pretty cool.
I got dressed and trekked over to Yokohama to meet up with Yimin with plans to visit Dawn in hospital again, but we didn't get there till 7pm and Sam and Sophie rang us to inform us that we wouldn't make it to the hospital in time for visiting hours, so we resolved to trek over there the following morning before work. We then spent the rest of the evening touring round shops and getting food in Yokohama, as we resolved that we might as well enjoy the last few hours of our weekend as it had been somewhat of a disaster. We also went to the arcades and played some Mario Kart - I love that game.
That was the end of the weekend. The next morning we went to see Dawn and then trekked back and went to work, where I was greeted with my first experience teaching children. But that's another story...