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Saturday, August 12

Quails Certainly Could Make Better Karaoke

Friday night, kids! And we finally made it out to play. We spent the night out on the town with a friend and trailed through the area tour that he had been shown the night prior. Now, our friend had been smashed so he wasn't sure he could get us back to the same places to show us, but he somehow managed to keep up most of the previous rountine...

The night began with this little store that looked like the most ghetto-licious liquor store you have ever seen! There was no door to enter, just basically the front of the store was entirely open to the street. Dusty bottles of Japanese liquors and a handful of cheap American whiskeys lined the walls. Some of the labels gave me the impression that they have sat waiting for someone to dare partake for a long time. That someone was not me. Now, this place is not a bar. Not in the way you are thinking at least. I think they can only make a handful of drinks there. There was a counter with a very tiny Japanese couple behind it pouring quite a lot of the house specialty... which is what we ordered. You can have peach, grape and I think lime. I went with what is supposed to be the best... the peach! I have no idea what is in this stuff as it tasted like pure and simple peach juice! But after half of what was approximately a 16 oz plastic cup, I felt some serious buzzing happening. Everyone who knows me knows that this is not me at all! I can take it like the burliest truck driver. But not this stuff! Very tasty indeed... but very, very potent. I do wish I knew what it was.

The store is only open until 8:30 so it is a place where you can stop off and have a drink before getting on the train. I love that idea... get a little liquored up before you head home to the spouse and kids. Guess it makes them easier to deal with? We were there from about 6:30 to 7:15 and the only other woman I saw in there besides behind the counter was a nicely dressed older Japanese woman who came and went with amazing speed. The place was packed with sailors in one corner and Japanese in the other making it oppressively hot and sweat ran down my skirted legs. The only cooling source was a fan that looked like it had been there since the war. One of the Japanese men apparently is there every night as our friend had met him only the night before. He was completely wasted but smiling away and kept coming over and telling us a story of which we understand not. a. single. word. Good story and we laughed with him though! But if we were going to make it a night, there was no way I was having a second one of those drinks.

On to the the next place for dinner and more drinks. Our guide told us again he wasn't sure but he thought that it was a bit of a walk. As it turned out, it was directly on the next corner. Guess we know how much those drinks affected him too!

From the outside, the place looked like a shack. Back home, I would never dare eat at a place like this. But we were told it was delicious so in we went. There were strings of wooden beads hanging in the upper part of the door like a curtain which we pushed aside. This place was also packed full of people... alll Japanese. Directly in front of door sits the stove in the center of a U-shaped bar. The stove pipe is set to blow smoke out directly above the front door which basically blew it right back in through the door. Interesting situation but no one seemed to notice but me. To get a seat in the back of the bar, every one already sitting has to either move down deeper into the place or walk out to let us get in and then retake their seats. A total of 14 people were squeezed in counting us after we found a seat. Not a single soul more could fit. Your back is to the wall as you sit on your stool and your arms are on the counter. Every inch of space is used. You really can't be afraid of close talking in a place like this. With all of this closeness, we had to get up and walk out of the front door two differnet times, one to let a group deeper in from us out and let another in to take their place and then a second time when a couple came in and found no seats so they sent them up a narrow set of stairs in the corner past us. To which lead to...???? One will never know.

The menu is simple... meat on a stick. Called Yakitori. There were about ten different choices from the simple chicken variety to what they called pork belly (we call it bacon) to tongue to liver. My first order was on the safe side... chicken (2 delicious sticks of chicken mixed with large green onion with some sauce on it that I will never figure out how to duplicate because it is probably just from the years of grease on the open grill-type stove that actually seasoned it - it doesn't look like anything has been cleaned there... again... since the war) and simple pork (no belly and also equally as tasty if not better than the chicken). After appreciating the fine delicacy of this so-called meat on a stick, I went with quail eggs to spice things up! That's right... quail! All I have to say is yu-ummm! They, of course, are wrapped in pork belly (bacon and eggs we call it) shoved on a stick and served with dipping mayo on the side. Now, don't get all grossed out! This was by far my favorite of the night. After a few beers there, we headed to the next place in our bar crawl.

Still, our guide managed to get us there without too much difficulty. This place definitely classed the night up right and proper. It was a very fancy bar, just like back home, where we ordered fine drinks of draft beer of which I have no idea what kind I drank all night. If you order draft here, you take what they have. You just can't be all kinds of picky. The bar was very small with a handful of tables and it was empty when we arrived at about 9 pm. Halfway into our drinks, a Japanese man entered and sat next to us at the bar. I got to talking to him because the drink he ordered looked so good, I thought I might try one. He told me it was a "gentleman" because he had been out doing karaoke the night before and must have had a few too many. So this drink, while it would take me out, was meant for his calmer days. These people are hard core! The man also told us an animated story about karaoke the night before and about his team of singers. The night wouldn't be complete if we didn't partake in this, so after only one drink, we were off to do our own Star Search.

Here's where our guide faltered. He tried to figure out where he had ended the night before but didn't have a clue. So we ended up on a street where we heard singing and just followed the sound. This took us to a second floor bar that looked like a kitchen from the time of... yet again... the war. We choose a booth and a Japanese woman with long, black curly hair came running over with the biggest karaoke books you have ever seen... bigger than the DC area yellow pages. She told me I was pretty (don't care what you all say but these people are crazy!) and then cuddled up to our single friend and talked him into a duet of "Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong." Not good at all but awesome. I followed with "All I Wanna Do" and then Kimono Hubby trying to trump us all with "We Didn't Start The Fire." Now if you have ever been blessed enough to hear Kimono Hubby's sister sing, you would realize that singing is not the family talent. But boy... do they got heart! The rounds of drinks, bottled Asahi this time, came and went and more songs were sang. My gentlemen companions were very into the singing and did rounds of "Ring of Fire" and "Cracklin' Rose." My brain resources were a bit foggy by then and I can't recall everything that was sung to give you all the giggles over. I think the best that came out of either of my male entertainment team was the end of "Cracklin' Rose" that was only "bah, bah, bah... bah, bah, bah..." over and over and over again.

Enough fun was had at this point so we all staggered back to the base. When we got to the room, I had a mean case of the munchies and went for this Japanese noodle dish I had bought and had on hand for whenever I needed a quick meal. Again, just one more thing that I had no idea what was in it, but I added water and poured the little packets in and nuked away. It has some serious spicy kick and I will have to think twice before I do that again after a whole night of eating and drinking things I don't recognize. Blech.

And then... I passed out... which is when I think Kimono Hubby must have kicked me several times because what a rough morning. Guess I won't be hanging with the Japanese on any sort of regular basis...

2 comments:

Lisa said...

Yum - gimme 2 of those peach drinks and I'll be done for the night! No tolerance level to speak of what-so-ever since I had the kids. Oh well...just makes for a much cheaper night than most!

Kimono Karen said...

I love me a cheap date!