Breaking with that old personal habit of favouring vices over addiction, I decided today that it was high time to resume heavy drug use for a while. And since methamphetamine is so damn expensive round here, I naturally turned to the second best option: Caffeine.

The deal is: I never drink coffee. Or hardly ever. Save for the odd cup or two when meeting people in a coffeeshop (and that’s only because the local Starbucks employees still refuses to this day to serve me Mojitos, even when I am ready to bring my own bottle of Rum). But coffee in the morning (i.e.: before 8pm) is a rarity.

Because of my complete non-addiction to caffeine, and since I still have my old hardcore coffee drinker habits, dosage-wise, those rare instances where I fix myself a cup usually result in uncontrollable twitching and borderline dizziness for most of the day.

As promised, here is a first update on the progress of the previously mentioned no-roommate project.

And I am ashamed to say that there isn’t much progress altogether.

You see, after briefly considering adult movie-making or experiments in urban anchoretical life as chief occupations for my week-end, I finally settled on a much more pedestrian — yet of proven entertainment value — plan. A plan essentially centered around a few easy concepts such as: alcohol (preferably cheap and plentiful), friend(s), cultural exploration of new neighbourhoods (through random sampling of bars and izakaia) as well as, potentially, use of substances and sex (on same requirements as alcohol).

In that case, you may ask, why am I sitting in front of my laptop on a friday night, typing this while most obviously not partaking in any of these activities. And that is a very legitimate question.

Because my last entry on Japan might have sounded overly negative, and also because the tone of the last few weeks is dangerously edging toward serious and mature stuff, here is something to bring back the balance on both counts.

Although on some level, this might read as yet another episode of Wretchedly Altered Dave’s Comical Adventures in Magic Tokyo, it is also a heartwarming testimony to a people’s confounding sense of honesty underlined by the epic struggle of a man with the evil power of pharmaceutical-grade narcoleptics. A modern tale of hope and pride, if you will.
This is what I will be solemnly citing in answer to the usual insipid inquiry regarding my inspirations for coming to this country. Of course, I couldn’t have cared less about this when I bought my plane ticket, but I sure ain’t telling people the truth about coming here to complete my lifelong collection of worn Japanese schoolgirls uniforms.

Anyway, this all happened about two weeks ago. I know this is no longer fresh news, but, as you might recall, I have been quite busy lately ensuring that I did not have to find a spot for my tent in Yoyogi koen. And after the move, NTT persisted in taking more than ten days to move an ADSL account that had been created in three days, thus ensuring my internet activities were limited to the most essential stuff (which oddly enough, does not include ranting on this page).

This actually happened right after we had found a place at the last minute and gotten approved by the owner: all that was left to do was bring the cash and sign the lease, on Saturday morning, and move in the following day.
On Friday evening, I had planned to go play a few records at Bar Tokyo with Miss Kate, which seemed like a great occasion to celebrate at the same time. Lease-signing meeting time was 10:30 in Ueno: that gave me ample time to get back home with the first train, take a quick shower, maybe even a post-disco nap and then head over to the agency with Nordine and Yoshiko (who had been enrolled as our personal scribe). NOTHING wrong with this plan, right?
Oh yea… one important detail: a conjunction of factors such as daily ATM withdrawal limit, the scarcity of ATM accepting foreign cards in this city and the presence of one such bank, open 24h, in Roppongi, had caused me to stop on the way there to withdraw the last leg of the rent/deposit/gift money we were supposed to bring in the day after.

So it was half past midnight, I had about 60,000 yens in cash on me, and I was heading toward some seedy bar for the night.

because every once in a while, I dip in my rather, ahem, eclectic collection of music and put whatever I get my hands on first (sometimes it can be atmospheric d’n’b, other times chopin), I was listening to some old Led Zeppelin stuff and through a brief association of thoughts, ended up reminiscing about a rather random party snapshot from a few years back…