歌舞伎町 I took a little trip down to Kabukicho last night to do some recon work. No, unfortunately not because I am planning to quit my day job as a corporate whore and become one of the boats in the water trade, but because I am going back there as a customer. That's right, this week is birthday week at casa Geisha and to show my dedication to this blog and my small niche of readers, I am going to a host club. How does this show my dedication? you may ask. Well, how does a post about my first time at a host club sound? It's going to be a carousel ride, I assure you.
So back to the recon work. I was supposed to be going with back-up, which cancelled, so I ventured there alone. Before going I had checked a couple host club information websites, which listed all the clubs in Kabukicho and included a rating system for the top hosts and an area for women to give feedback and comments on their experiences. I know people always say that Kabukicho is dangerous and seedy but I have to say, I felt right at home among the men with pointy shoes, blinding lights and menus of girls from which you can take your pick. About five minutes in and a guessed left turn, I struck host club gold. Gaudy lights and billboards showcasing the clubs' top hosts adorned the streets. I was even offered a flier by a cute host, which I immediately regretted not accepting.
As I picked my way back to Shinjuku station I couldn't help feeling how cheap and empty the area felt, like false front houses from Little House on the Prairie. It still never ceases to amaze me how integrated "night businesses" are into the collective conscious here. Not necessarily accepted by all, but viewed as a whole with some degree of normalcy. The other night the beau had to go to a hostess club with a customer, and by had, I mean this guy is a bit scary and the beau was definitely not in a position to say no. It doesn't happen often but when it does I have been trying very hard to understand the various aspects of having to go, despite not having grown up in an environment where it's common for men to pay for the company of women. Of course it's not just the company they are paying for (I am not referring to sex), but I will not go into that here. Suffice to say, it was interesting walking around Kabukicho and thinking that just the other night, the beau was there, up high in one of the top clubs in the area.
I'm not sure what passersby thought when they saw me wandering around last night-can locals here discern between tourists and residents as I think most foreign residents can? Most mornings on my way to work you would think I was bleeding out of my belly button given all the looks I get. It's gotten to the point where I am constantly checking my outfit to see if there is a peep hole or stain that is causing people to stare so. Last night in my work outfit of skirt and heels, I got a slight prosti vibe in some of the stares received but for the most part, I was left alone. I think the stares and reactions are less and less about location these days, considering I got a hearty suteki da naaa from a local pimping ojichan by my apartment the other day. My apartment that is not in Kabukicho.
On a quick side note, when first learning Japanese has anyone ever thought they were hearing the word for "steak" instead of suteki? Suteki, which can mean cool, lovely, pretty, great, etc., is one long vowel sound away from suteeki, which is "steak" in Japanese. When I was learning Japanese at university here I didn't know what the former meant and couldn't understand why Japanese people were always working talk of steak into the conversation! Lesson learned and I can safely say the ojichan was not talking about steak.
I made it back to Shinjuku station unscathed and with a good idea of where to go. I didn't however, run across the Hot Male Box, where I once ventured as a student as the sign from afar looks exactly like the HMV logo. Go figure. For now, stay tuned dear readers, for the highly-anticipated sequel in which I shall describe in gory detail, my night out at a host club.