• 03 . 06 . 05
  • A birthday to remember, with karaoke, burgers and awesome music.

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The B’s Knees

After the bus fiasco yesterday, I think I should clarify that I did, in fact, have a really cool birthday. After my Japanese lesson, I headed into Nagoya to meet up with Jamie and Miyuki, where the plan was to have a picnic in Tsurumai Park. Manchester-style weather meant that that plan was out of the window, and after the cinemas all had zero films starting in the early afternoon (don’t even get me started on the ridiculousness of Japanese cinemas’ policies), it looked like it was going to turn out badly.

Luckily, the day was rescued by an inspired suggestion to go and do karaoke while sober. A novel concept to be sure, and one I don’t think I would have ever seen myself doing. A little later we were joined by Reilly, Rochelle and Chris, my new housemate, who had all just finished up training nearby, and we moved on to the Hard Rock Cafe for a burger the size of Belgium and half-price beers bigger than Brussels.

After a brief stop back at home to clean up and switch to an elasticated belt, me, Chris and Jamie headed out to a small bar Chris had come across on his exploration of Gifu. Called B’s Cafe and sitting in a rather inconspicuous spot in the Yanagase, I must have cycled past it a hundred times and not even known it was there. I wish I’d found it sooner because this was one of the best places I’ve been, anywhere in Japan. It’s a small, cosy little club in a similar vein to the Attic in Manchester, and there were live DJs playing some really great soul and funk music. Apparently, each night has something different, and it’s always packed out. The best part I think is that it was filled with 20-something Japanese people, just drinking and dancing. It’s maybe the first time that I’ve felt any sort of connection with the overworked, overschooled and overexcitable Japanese youth. Here, people just felt, well,normal. Despite the differences, I felt really at home for perhaps the first time. I also got chatting to a lot of people and though we sometimes didn’t really understand each other, The Stone Roses, among their many other brilliances, are also able to bridge the language gap.

Underneath B’s is a second room, called, brilliantly, SecondRoom, where I was introduced to the owner of the two places, a charismatic Japanese called Bryan, who had taught himself English using the tapedeck of a car he was living in for a long time. We stayed there till about 3:30am trying to learn Japanese insults, while getting more drunk. The best thing I learned was the fantastic insult “Your mother has an outy belly-button”! Another similar night is planned for later in the month and I’m sure I’ll be going along!

In conclusion; Birthday. Awesome. A joint party is planned for me and Jeff on Saturday night too, so we’ll see what happens at that one too!

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