HOLY SHIT! JAPAN TOUR DIARY – Day 2
We arrived at the airport, finally free of the stupidly long airplane ride. I waited for everyone to exit before me and unloaded my cargo from the top bunker. I joined Eric, Andy, and Tabman as we made our way through Narita airport. Much walking and a few escalators brought us to a sign that said “Welcome to Japan”. I looked and I sighed. Man. Here we go. Eric was still wasted as fuck. He lost his paperwork on the plane and Andy waited and helped him through making out the papers again as Tabman and I passed though customs without any flurry at all. So smooth. Those of us with American dollars went to the money exchange window. The Yen was a little stronger to the penny, and I exchanged $286 dollars for 268 thousand Yen. They count to the penny instead of the dollar, so it was like 286 thousand pennies for 268 thousand yen. Get it? We all bought tickets with some help and scoped out the train boarding area to see which train we would take. This was our first taste of Japanese vending machines, and my personal first taste of Pocari Sweat, a Gatorade-like drink I would come to have a very close relationship with later. The drink was great, my first taste of Japan. I went to the vending machine and grabbed what looked most appealing to me: an energy drink called Match. We drank and Andy went off about how amazing the vending machines were and how they were everywhere while we gulped them down and waited for our train. Andy had been lucky enough to have visited Japan last year with the Chinese Telephones. He was the only one of us with experience, the one that spouted knowledge of Japan when there wasn’t anyone with us to guide our way.
The train finally arrived, and we boarded. As we rode I soaked in my first taste of Japan. I tried to understand what the loudspeaker was saying using my limited Japanese knowledge, but couldn’t make out any sentences, just bits. All of our luggage and here we were, 6 P.M. on a train to meet up with our Japanese connection Tboy, someone whom none of us had met. I sneaked peeks at the beautiful Japanese girls sitting across form me and imagined their life. The boys were talking, we all were. I eventually fell asleep for a bit. Not long. This train ride was for real. It took an hour and fifteen minutes before we arrived at Ueno station, the place for rendezvous. We went to the AM/PM, calling it “couche/tard”(sic) as we knew it in Canada (It translates roughly to morning/night, as in open whenever), and we bought some foodstuffs and more drinks that we all shared and consumed while waiting outside the station for Tboy to show himself. While I was elsewhere getting a ‘Fanta White’ (Fortified with calcium, like milk!) from a vending machine, Tboy (Guitar – Your Pest Band, Broken Mountain) arrived and I returned to the group to meet him and shake his hand. We returned to a parking garage to fetch his brand new Nissan Cube using an electronic panel and an attendant. We waited at the gate the attendant opened and watched the garage opening as another gate on the wall opened and the conveyor belts on the floor slowly ushered the Cube to the middle of the room. So these cars are parked in some sort of garage and brought to you automatically from a control panel?! Unreal. We tetrised our bags in the back and got inside. I took the drivers seat. Yes, the “drivers seat”. You see, just like Britain and many other countries, the Japanese not only drive on the “wrong” side of the street, but the steering controls too are on the other side of the car. We pulled away and I tried to take in the massive Tokyo scenery, but my eyelids closed, and they closed hard.
I time warped right up until we pulled into Tboys driveway. We pulled our shit from the back of the car and walked through a couple of backyards to Tboys house. We put all of our shit down in the incredibly small room, one that became bigger as we stayed there. We started to bond by testing out our language barrier with the Asahi beers that they brought to share with us. Andy and Tabman passed out snacks, sweets and Tab soda they had brought with for everyone to try, and I began my quest of passing out all 84 Truthdealer The Contrarian CD-Rs that I brought with. One of the guys from the band Gleam Garden came over and brought some more beer to share, and with that record after record spun on the turntable as the night whiled away. I slunk down with my CPAP in the other room, an entire room filled with nothing but sleeping mats, pillows and blankets. So this is the exhausted man’s haven. Still tired from the trip, I put my mask on and fell asleep.
After what felt like an hour the party grew, and I found out by waking up with Kyouhei (KEE-YO-HAY, Vocalist – The Scribbler) silent and down on all fours an inch from my face. I screamed and tackled him, both of us laughing. Last summer Japan visited Milwaukee; “Monkey”(Kyouhei’s given nickname while visiting), Satoru (Bass – Your Pest Band, The Scribbler), Shugo (Maru’s brother), and Takashi all stayed with Andy and me at 12 steps for 5 days. It was good to see him, and I saw he arrived with Satoru and Maru (Drums – Your Pest Band), so I turned off my CPAP and joined the party room greeting the new people. I could tell much had been drunk in the short time I was asleep, snacks and cans everywhere, even piled up in a pyramid, and a bottle of brandy nearing its end being passed around. I sat on the bed next to Maru and Kyouhei with a beer and the whole room continued to try to communicate the best we could. We were all getting better. Not satisfied and forever the jester, Kyouhei took off his shirt and started saying amazing things; “I eat eeeeveryting! I like meat! I like you. I hate vegetables! IIII eat eeeeeveryting!” Laughter knows any language, and he knew how to extract it. He initiated ‘smell wars’ next, offering Maru his armpit to smell. Maru screamed “KUSAI!” (KU-SAY, meaning ‘bad smell’) and I then followed suit with my pit. The three of us went on to put our hands down our pants or wherever smelled the worst and offer each other the smell for us to yelp, howl, and gag to. “a-Butt-a smell! YOU CAN DO IT!”, Kyouhei said while pointing at his armpit. He continued to get even more primal as he stripped naked and announced, “It’s a smaaaallllll woooorld!” while pointing at his penis and falling on his back to raise up his legs and give us the ol’ stinkeye. We rolled with laughter as he, Maru, and Tboy started multiple playful wrestling matches with close homosexual calls and shrieks of disgust, surprise, and mirth. This continued right up to bedtime with most of us in the sleeping haven, words I could not understand followed by a screaming scuffle and more laughter. I closed my eyes and felt relieved. We weren’t with a bunch of uptight musicians or shy introverts, they were just like us and we managed to connect right away. The last thing I heard was Kyouhei, “I am not a monkey, I am a beaaassssst!”
Tomorrow is our first show here. Bring it on!
Hours on The Fucking Plane: 15
Approximate Hours of Sleep: 11
Shows Played: 0
Total # Of Different Bands: 0
Number of Crybed Sessions: 0
Number of Shits Taken: 0
Robo-Toilets Used: 0
Alcoholic Tours: 0
Chewing Tobacco Chewed: 0
Angry and Pissed-Off Count: 0
Pieces of Chicken Displayed: 0