Hanami Week-end

Hanami Parties Update

or “Welcome to My weekend, my life.com”

If reading the semi-coherent recollection of a drunken stranger’s week-end is not part of your Monday schedule, feel free to just gawk at photographic evidences, conveniently gathered here and there, including the perfunctory tits shot, courtesy of our dear Tracey…

In a scene telling of the spirit of this week-end, yours truly and three of his drunken groupies were seen yesterday night, fiercely decided to rock out the last train out of Harajuku, the same way they’d been rocking out Yoyogi park all afternoon: with lots of drunken debauchery and deep house beats blaring on a portable sound system.

If that’s not yet doing it for you, picture, if you will: the whitest, skinniest guy this side of Brooklyn, manning the most improbable Japanese ghetto blaster ever seen on the Tokyo metro, while the ladies managed to send the poor few salarymen present into abyss of despair: if even the ever-reliable subservient Japanese female could be spotted pole-dancing in a subway car, who was to tell what would be next. But the most awesome part was definitely the widespread toe-tapping around the car: people seemed to, in fact, kinda like it.

Well, anyway: expect to hear yet another report of suspicious foreign gang activities some time soon in the news.

In contrast, the rest of the day did not elicit such extreme display of delinquency. Merely your standard let’s-get-drunk-and-pass-out-under-the-cherry-blossoms party. Which is already more of a national sport in Japan, even long after the sakura season is over: just replace the words cherry blossom above by fireworks, moon, stars, sun or anything else that bears celebrating and getting drunk under, and you should see a theme profiling there…

In that regard, the exceptionally warm and enjoyable weather of this week-end can only be interpreted as a very positive omen to future bouts of outdoor drunkenness this year.

Shout outs

where names drop faster than a cute boy in a ni-chome bar

The bunch who came was one particularly wonderful group of cool people, I was truly delighted to meet such a diverse array of characters, each one more outgoing and interesting than the next one.

Since we are way past that for today, I will boldly put aside what has always been a guiding principle for this blog, namely that the life of your friends (or other strangers for that matter) does not interest anybody but yourself. Time for a sappy personal message full of cheeze and pseudo-new-agey mushy crap… You all rock and you are beautiful (in a totally non-sexual-albeit-perhaps-sensual- and-not-freaking-tree-hugger-hippie- yet-conscious-of-the-importance- of-cosmic-harmony way). Do not take this small breach of contract as a cue that this it is ok to do the same on your own blog: unless your friends are as cool as mine (and I doubt it), just shut up and keep posting pictures of your cat.

First honours to the Tokyo Pussycats Shock Team… Maki, Rie, Deny, Tracey and Justine: geishas just don’t hold a candle to you, you rock so hard I suspect this might have something to do with today’s tectonic shake (a meager 3-4 on the Japanese scale, but I’m sure you could do better if you fancied so). To top it all, as a team, you could probably outdrink the full crew of a Japanese battleship, which could always turn useful if such a confrontation was to ever occur.

Rachel needs special mention for getting her ass out of bed when everybody else was busy sleeping their hangover through, and running to the park, merely armed with bright coloured ribbons, landmines, barb wire and a pack of mean German shepherds to mark and guard a chunk of Yoyogi park big enough to land the guests’ private jets throughout the day (last we heard, the security dogs were adopted by a bunch of marauding harajuku schoolgirls and finished dressed up in sickeningly cute lolita outfits complete with matching bonnets, apron and doggie-high heels).

Komei and Karin: keep on loving… Birthday Girl: keep on having fun with your iPod, or your Casual Bonking Experiment and anything else that makes you happy… Ronna: keep on keeping Shibuya nights alive with your delicious curries and fabulous cosmo’s… Everybody else, keep on doing what you think you do best, even if it comes down to breathing with your mouth open.

There were far too many new heads to name them all here, but I really enjoyed chatting with:

Brett and Edgar, Beautiful Losers and all-around cool guys.

Ian, the San Franciscan guy living in Germany, and Anja, the German girl visiting Tokyo. Even if I have now lost a bottle of sake and a piece of my self-esteem to Ian, owing to my alcohol-fueled delirious theories giving spanish ancestry to the very French and Parisian dwelling Edgar Degas:

L’Affaire Degas

As it turns out, I was right on the pronunciation, against the generally agreed upon, yet woefully erroneous, opinion of the web community at large.

And how do I know that dictionary.com is wrong and I was – incredibly enough – right?

The whole Degas enigma was solved by a phone call to our favorite art history genius: at one in the morning and in a passably drunk state by then (not that she wouldn’t be used to it after all those years). Ludivine being the angel that she is, patiently took the time off whatever busy socialite dinner she was attending to give me a short lecture on the topic. She was positive: Degas, while the mix of a very cosmopolitan family (mother born in New Orleans, father’s family from Italy), had about as much Spanish blood as I have Inuit blood.

And since Inuit baby seal’s blood on my hunting baseball bat doesn’t count, we might as well spell it out clearly: he had none. Which broke any hope of scoring a bottle of sake (and an occasion to mock somebody else’s poor knowledge of Impressionist painters while flaunting my own, which just doesn’t come along often enough).

She somehow softened the blow by confirming my initial take on the pronunciation. Yet not one to trust a word blindly – be it the word of Mademoiselle Assistant Curator to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, possibly herself under the influence of mind-altering substances – and still wondering how most major American websites could have it so wrong, I dispatched our most dedicated French otaku (yes, the one whose website’s tagline boasts, in Japanese, “I may act like I know something, but I can’t read Kanjis for shit”) on a mission to call the one and only authority I was ready to accept on this matter.

The results came this afternoon: according to some random peon at the Musée d’Orsay (for all I know, Fred might have talked to a janitor there): people in the know do pronounce the freaking ‘s’ at the end. I am still not sure whether the fact that, all in all, I spent more time researching this than doing anything else today is either:
1) incredibly pathetic 2) awesome 3) a bit of both.

Anyway, that’ll teach me to do stupid bets.

Back to talking about people you don’t know

Anja, whose first name I hope I am not completely butchering, since she would not forgive me, especially after I foolishly, and very cheekily, remarked that she was seriously hurting her marriage prospects by boasting of beating her third-grade male nemesis into submission as a kid… Local men have already a hard enough time getting used to the fact that women nowadays take it upon themselves to talk without asking for the express permission of their male companion… Hell, it would seem some of them even talk back. No wonder Japanese guys all manifest a morbid attachment to their mother and refuse to leave the hive until way past thirty…

There was also Sya, an Iranian musician and kung-fu teacher, who puts Suffi poetry into music and built a three-storey bar on the beach near Kamakura for the duration of the Summer, last year. The ramen place near Harajuku where he took us was most definitely one of the best I have ever had in my years in Tokyo.

Tokyo’s Last true Samurai, Atsushi himself, even joined us at the end of a day busy spent conning innocent western girls into shedding their clothes, under the guise of some dubious “fashion shooting” or something…

Just in time to share the last drink at Fujimama’s, followed by some more erratic drinking and a strategic fallback to our respective dwelling, though not without a final musical showdown on the Tokyo subway, as mentioned at the top of this insanely longwinded piece of vacuous writing….

For more details and illustrations, check out the keitai logs: I will be adding a few comments as soon as I have a sec.