Posted by: mariabro | September 24, 2011

The Quintessential Tokyo Night

I arrived home on Friday after a three month “vacation”.
Well not so much a vacation as a three month Odyssey which included
25,000miles, 7 countries, 1 renovation, a beginning and an end.
“Congratulations Mrs. Bromley you’ve achieved Elite status, now please
hoist your overweight bags onto the scale so I can charge you for the extra
weight.”  Thankfully, I didn’t end up in jail (well almost) or I would have achieved Elite status on the life-stressor scale.

I enjoyed my first night home with family, ate my cake and drank my champagne and basked in the harmony of being home.

Saturday night was a different story. The Tokyo social life machine went into overdrive.
It was my friend’s husband’s 50th birthday and it turned into a will-go-down-in –history night, one of those over the top nights that occur frequently here.  There’s always somewhere to go and something to do and fun people to do it with.

It began with a white stretch limo picking up the four couples at their homes.  However, in true Tokyo style the drivers had to call ahead to see if the stretch limo would actually fit down our street and be able to turn around the sharp corners.  In our case, we had to meet them at the top of the hill and the team of two drivers negotiated the turns.

We all dressed to the nines and began our two hour tour of Tokyo, which was really just to give us time to drink the 4 bottles of champagne brought by the birthday boy who happens to work for a champagne company (life-long friend!).  We stopped at various sites along the way including the beautiful Tokyo tower.

Then we moved on to Amoroso in Iidabashi, which I am afraid to tell people about for fear it becomes the next place every Gaijin has to introduce their friends to.  It is owned by Maeda-san, chef, sommelier and dishwasher.
He will have a Michelin star one day.  It is our favourite restaurant in Tokyo, a combination of Italian-Japanese fusion.  Each course, and there are many, is accompanied by a special wine chosen by Maeda-san.  We usually end up with about 7 empty glasses per person at the end of the night.  And the dinner is such a great value that I feel like I should be staying afterwards to help wash up. (credit to Amy & Darryl Knopp for introducing us to Amoroso about 5 years ago)

From this point the night starts to go into high gear and usually gets a bit fuzzy.  Thank god for friends who bring cameras everywhere so we can see what we did the next day on Facebook.

Generally at this point we head to Roppongi, which is pretty much like Las Vegas for Gaijin.  The place where every Nigerian knows your name.

Tonight we began at a famous hostess club which none of the ladies had ever been to and all of the men denied ever being to.  I assumed everyone was welcome on stage and did my best “desperate housewife taking pole dance lessons” moves.  Then surprisingly, I (we, my husband being the main target) was invited to the back room.  So, never one to miss an opportunity, I went along. Perhaps it was because I’m Romanian and the girls wanted to chat about the homeland?  In any case it is not all it is cracked up to be.  Especially for $150.  Pictures of new running shoes for my kids flashed across my eyes as well as a few other things.

Usually by this time, it is time to dance on a bar somewhere so we head to Train Bar or Mogambo’s although I am too tall for that countertop.

The night then comes to a crescendo at karaoke.  Yes, the Japanese really love it and actually so do we,  although we don’t take it quite as seriously as they do.  It is like an Olympic sport for them with rehearsals and pre-arranged songs before the night out.  You’d think after 6 years of doing this we would know the songs we want to sing.  But it’s the same every time.  “What’s that song, dear, you know the one I like that goes, lalala?”  By this time I am not wearing my glasses and can’t read in the dark at my age so I leave the song selection to my friends.  When I hear Ma-ree-ya, you’re up, I know it’s time.  This is when the Japanese look askance at my song selection, AC/DC, Offspring and Bon Jovi.  Songs, which for someone like me who can’t sing are quite a challenge.  Usually people start coming up to help me out and because I think everyone loves singing Pretty Fly for a White Guy.

The Karaoke Channel Store - Full Banner

Then when WE decide it is time to go home we take a cab or walk if we still can.  That’s the beauty of living downtown so close to the nightlife area, we can always get home for 710yen.  The reason I emphasize when WE decide is because there is no closing time in Tokyo.  Usually, it’s when our high heels hurt too much and the sky is turning a light gray.  As opposed to Canada where I spent most of the summer arguing with bartenders.  “C’mon, just one more Smirnoff ice!”  “Sorry ma’am (I hate being ma’amed) we close at 2:00am, I could lose my license if I serve you.”  “But I live in Tokyo and we can stay up all night if we want!”  Sometimes the next morning having a commie bartender send you home may have been  a good thing. But I still think it should be my decision if I want to feel crappy the next day.

Thankfully, I have the quintessential night documented now lest I forget (which I do more and more often) when someone asks me this week, “How was your weekend?”

and to top it all off we all just received Designer Loot Bags from super party planner Jennifer! Home aromatherapy oil, in what flavor?  Champagne, of course.

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