7 Rules for Karaoke in Japan

If you happen to find yourself in Tokyo, then Shibuya’s a great place to start an evening. So we were there at Starbucks, just Aki and me slamming back steaming black grandes and Hitomi sipping some kind of whipped cream desert marketed to her as a coffee. I swear I don’t know how she stays so thin.

Then after a while, probably because we’d had a ton of caffeine, somebody said, “We should go get some beers. We really should.”

Probably I said that. But still, it was an excellent idea. So we left, but not before I stuffed a handful of Starbucks napkins into my pocket. They’re high-quality paper, and it’s not stealing if they’re free. I haven’t bought tissues or paper towels in years. Continue reading “7 Rules for Karaoke in Japan”

What Japanese Girls Want

japanse girls - Japanese Rule of 7

Mei’s the girlfriend you’d love to have but can’t, because my buddy Yuki got her first.

She’s got big eyes, enormous boobs, long brown hair curled into ringlets, and an ass that’ll make you reevaluate your life. When Mei wears a sweater more people line up for a viewing than Star Wars. Is she smart? Who cares—-she’s too busy looking sexy and giggling to discuss quantum computing. Of course, Mei works in a Girls Bar. That just makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is why she’s with Yuki. Continue reading “What Japanese Girls Want”

Japan’s a Scam

I was drinking with Sandy in the park recently. It was dark and naturally we were on the swing set.

“I’ll just never be happy here,” she said.

“Congratulations,” I replied, “you’re finally Japanese. Here, have a chu-hi. It’s got real lemon flavor.”

Then we kampai-ed as our swings passed, which is hard to do without spilling. The great thing about Japan is it has these little dirt plots that serve as corner parks, complete with rusty jungle gyms and broken see-saws where you can drink at night. I guess theoretically kids could play there during the day too, if the population hadn’t all died off. Anyway I figured it kind of worked in our favor. Continue reading “Japan’s a Scam”

What’s Japan Like?

This is partly the tale of three Japanese women.

Erika Lives in Hokkaido

In the winter, she walks to the station past mountains of snow piled higher than her head, but she can usually get a seat on the train, and her apartment’s nice and warm, so she’s happy. Plus, she likes wearing high leather boots and flowing scarves. Erika’s into accessories. She works as a lab technician in a hospital. On sunny summer days, she walks a little extra to the next station, just to enjoy the trees and flowers, and because she likes how she looks strolling past the plate glass windows in a skirt. She has a small band of friends, and on weekends they sometimes meet by the river to drink Sapporo beer, listen to American hip hop, and barbecue. “I love steak,” she says. Continue reading “What’s Japan Like?”

Why are Japanese so Skinny?

The crazy thing about working in a Japanese office is that, while knowing absolutely nothing substantial about your co-workers, you can still observe their most intimate habits. But maybe that’s any office, actually. I mean, when I worked in the U.S., there were a lot of folks I didn’t really know either. Although it seems like avoiding personal disclosure is one of those Japanese “things.” Eh, probably just my imagination.

Among the things I still don’t know in my Japanese office are anybody’s actual name, so I like to refer to my coworkers as Skeletor, Skeletor Jr., Ms. WhoAreYouAgain, and The Butt. The first three are Japanese, while The Butt, so-named because of her seated resemblance to an isosceles triangle, is, predictably, American. Continue reading “Why are Japanese so Skinny?”