Random Observation/Comment #94: Are there really losers in a bar crawl? Properly, are you even likely to finish? I was having a good time just walking around with inebriated strangers, and picking their brains about traveling and career paths. Everyone has such an interesting story and outlook on life. Some of them I pity, while others I envy – this society is made of so much drama and complexity, I’m surprised I don’t have more problems myself.
The bar was overflowing with music, laughter, and dirty jokes. A classic Irish bar in the middle of Osaka? Where did they get all of those white people? Anyway, the mixed company was a relief from the usual slurs of inaudible Japanese tongue. This night fit any ordinary bar atmosphere, but I saw someone I didn’t think I would see in my lifetime again. How could I forget that moustache?
One month earlier… Dotombori was a major tourist attraction because of its large selection of food and slutty girls. Chris and I lived the life of New York models and walked around the clubs like we owned the place. We were outside taking a breath of air that didn’t smell like sweat, smoke, alcohol, and foreigners, when we bumped into a drunken German guy. He wore a white bandana, cheap sunglasses, a black sleeveless shirt, army boots, and camouflage pants. He stumbled by us and started a casual conversation with Chris because he looked the most like a gai-jin. These random meetings of “the fellow white people in Japan” club happen often. In some cases, you pass by discretely with a CIA-type nod, and in others, you actually shake hands and vent quickly about cultural frustrations. In all situations, you don’t expect to see the other person again, but you’re glad to speak English at a normal pace without hand gestures. After some introductions and 10 minutes of talking, the German was back on his way to continue his night.
He still wore the same camouflage pants and bandana from the night I remember him. In fact, it looked as if he was placed into a time machine and warped to the future (my current present) to kill me, save me, or send me an important message. I was already so drunk that I waited for the moment he would reveal his true agenda. Unfortunately, there was nothing this exciting to plunge my story ahead, nor am I creative enough to make up something ridiculous, so I’ll just tell it as it was – a story of a bar scavenger hunt.
Very quickly, my Japanese casual drinking graduate group evolved into a group of four white males with Japanese girlfriends. It was odd seeing the similar trend of Asian fever. I had joined a winning team of motivated and dedicated drinkers. The game plan in their minds was to win the bar crawl and get the first prize of an open bar at the end location. This was very different from my game plan of getting drunk and literally crawling around Osaka. Their version involved a lot more walking than drinking. It seemed like we spent 70% of the time on foot from place to place and then a maximum of 10 minutes to get a stamp, buy a beer, and chug. We rushed and we won, technically.
However, according to the person organizing this whole thing, we didn’t. Apparently, “we weren’t aggressive enough.” You can imagine the tension in the air when we waited for an hour for our free drinks to find that we were shafted by some other group that called him every second of the night. The manager of the end location even signed our ticket saying that we were the first ones there. This angered the drunken group. Alfred almost became green and snapped necks. I’m not sure how to stop a drunk German guy from murdering, but I think it involves a train.
We spent the rest of the night completely pissed off and finishing a complimentary bottle of champagne from the second place prize. Much of the conversation consisted of anger and frustrations focused on different ways to torture and kill the person organizing the event. I absorbed every last bit of creativity just in case I ever need to write a story of a psychotic killer or Jack Bauer. Most of these levels of revenge are removed from comic book villain motives and top selling novels because of its pure cruelty. I think it’s violent enough to be made into an anime (oh, those crazy Japanese people). If you don’t believe me, watch Elven Lied or Gantz.
I guess I can’t complain too much because it turned out to be a ridiculously fun night of sharing stories and making new friends. I talked to a philosophy professor most of the time, and I followed his train of thoughts through the excitement of the night’s events. Even if he didn’t tell me what he did, I knew he could only be a philosopher by his extreme persistence to read into every action and calculate every perspective. In almost every scenario he developed for the organizer of the event, he was humble and partially blamed himself. I could tell that in any other situation, he would have found some zen balance, but this time it was completely the other guy’s fault.
First mistake: He made exceptions to his own rule and didn’t tell us about it until we lost. Second mistake: He insulted us by saying that we weren’t aggressive enough to inform him of our progress. Third mistake: He didn’t try to comfort us in any way by offering our money back or treating us to a round of drinks. Even though he was completely trashed, I would have expected a courtesy of reciprocation and humiliation by any human being at his age. All he had to say was, “Look, I made a huge mistake for not letting you know about this earlier. Let me make it up to you by buying you a drink and we’ll enjoy the rest of the night inside. At least you guys got second place and get a free bottle of champagne.” Do you see what happened there? You admitted to a clear mistake, and you tried to make it up to us. Plus, you reminded us of our reward and did it without offending us. There are three parts to sorry: 1) I’m sorry. 2) I was wrong. 3) How can I fix it? ::Shakes head in dismissal:: Common sense.
~See Lemons Win Anyway