Posted on 2006/05/31 04:18:21 (May 2006).
[Tuesday 30th May]
"Help me out here", I said to my colleague, "Please tell me I'm not the only person in this room who finds this a bit weird."
He informed me it wasn't weird to him at all, but with a slightly rakish glint in his eye, and a grin that suggested to me either (A) he was in fact pulling my leg, or (B) more likely he was implying "Yes we're an island nation... great isn't it?". You have to admire that, either way.
Very small red top hats. I think that was the bulk of the problem for me. The dresses were, well, born of some hallucinogen induced brainstorm of a crazed designer who clearly had wanted to re-create a kind of psychadelic version of the 19th century. If you can imagine Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Pride and Prejudice it might give you an idea. You see a lot of that sort of thing in Japan though - I think they call it "cosplay", and it is one of those art imitating life imitating art things. Normally it just washes over me now, but today I couldn't seem to get past it.
Those tiny little red top hats. They frightened me. Oh and the people wearing them were dancing, which didn't help matters. Any comments I might make about another person's ability to dance must, by rights, be tempered with the knowledge that I am quite possibly one of the world's worst dancers - having all the natural rhythm you'd expect from a white boy who works in IT. That disclaimer aside though, they weren't particularly good. They were almost just doing their own thing, making it up as they went along.
It was a bizarre spectacle to behold, honestly, the surreal nature of it all made it almost frightening to me, but almost everyone else in the place seemed to be keenly enjoying it. It was yet another one of those moments I get in Japan, where I have to pinch myself to be reassured I'm not having some kind of scary hallucination.
So anyway, to rewind a little, my friend from work had noticed I'd been a bit down in the dumps the last couple of days, and was deeply disturbed to hear I'd gone off drinking for a while. He clearly felt compelled to remedy the situation, and so persuaded me I should go out with him in the evening. So we went over to Roppongi, as we were going to meet a friend of his who works at one of the TV companies there.
We started off with Mexican food for dinner (not that common in Japan, so I don't think he'd had this before, and pleasingly it went down quite well), then went to a delightfully grotty bar for a couple of intermediate drinks. There were significantly more cockroaches than customers.
After that, the "highlight" of the evening was this kind of club place, presumably modelled on the sort of club you might expect an old crooner like Sinatra to have sung in. You know the sort I mean - a small stage at the front, with the floor full of little round tables, each with a small lamp on, surrounded by smartly dressed sophisticated clientele drinking brandy, etc. I say "modelled on" - the reality of it fell a little short of what you might genuinely call sophistication, but you can imagine what I mean. At least there weren't any cockroaches in this place (or maybe that was the real reason for the dim lighting).
The stage was occupied at various points in the evening with a number of "acts" - mostly they just bundled on for one song, then bundled off again. So there were a couple of singers, who weren't actually that bad. Maybe the dancing troopes were intended just as fillers inbetween the singing, which might explain why the choreography budget had apparently been somewhat less than extravagant. Or perhaps it had all been blown on the costumes - those tiny little red top hats probably didn't come cheap.
So it was an odd sort of an evening all told, but that in itself certainly made it a break from the norm, which was much appreciated.
Pity you didn't take any pictures...!
Posted by Sheri at 2006/05/31 06:01:30.
Yes Sheri is right pity you didn't take pics!... Nice night though!
Posted by Lox at 2006/05/31 08:28:50.
Yes, sorry about that guys - you'll just have to take my word for it that the costumes of the dancers were very, very strange... unfortunately I din't have my camera with me, and anywy it gave me the impression of the sort of place that wouldn't take too kindly to people taking photographs...!
Posted by John at 2006/05/31 14:15:41.
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