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It’s that time of year again!

This is the post excerpt.

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It’s that time of year again, Brocation time. We’ve done Havana, Medellin, Lima, the Amazon, Cusco, Krakow, Prague, and Berlin. This time we’re heading to the Asian continent to visit Tokyo and Bangkok! I’ve wanted to go to Tokyo and Japan in general since I was a child. When I was young I used to ride my bike to the library and read anything I could get my hands regarding Japan. I spent many hours reading everything I could about the country and even trying to teach myself Japanese. This is pretty much a bucket list city for me.

About 8 years ago I spent a month in Thailand visiting Trang, Palian, Khao Ngai, Chiang Mai, and Pai. Notice Bangkok is missing from that list? I was in Bangkok, but only for 3 days, two of which were arrival and departure dates, so they don’t count. I also stayed in the hippie patchouli den of Khao San Road, which is gross. This time we’ll be staying in style off Soi 24 and Sukhumvit road and spend the entirety of our time in the glorious city of Bangkok.

I’ll be arriving about 24hrs prior to my heterosexual life-partner, Bill, which is a tad stressful, but nothing I can’t handle. Watch this space as I take you along with me on Brocation 2016.

tokyo-street-night-japan

Adios! Estamos enfermos

Ok, we’re done. And just in the nick of time. I’m pretty sure I’ve got a stomach bug at best. God only knows what worse case scenario would be. Everything I try to eat takes a great amount of effort for me to not go immediately to the bathroom and throw up. It’s happened for every meal for the last two days. I don’t feel sick, I just can’t eat. Lol. This might be better than my brisket and Burbon diet I discovered in Austin! So svelte! 🙂 I have my suspicions as to where it came from. A lot of guide books recommend not eating salads from street vendors such as mango or papaya salads. I usually don’t give a shit about stuff like that, so I enjoyed a delicious papaya salad after our boat ride. Who knows. It could have been anything. I mean, most restrooms don’t even have soap, so if I’m not using soap, I know for a fact my cooks are not using them. 

Bill is suffering from extreme body aches. He’s also old as fuck now, so maybe a its just old man pains. 🙂
Here’s some thoughts post-trip:

  • I could never live in Bangkok. When I was younger I romanticized the idea of working remotely from Thailand and enjoying the cheap living. Fuck that. I can’t do heat and humidity like that. I’m Nordic. No thanks. 
  • Bangkok is dirty. Unbelievably dirty. Meaning polluted. You walk down the street and your shoes are covered in funk. It’s unreal. 
  • Tokyo blew my mind in every way. The artistic approach to every day life is really inspiring. 
  • I don’t get Japanese culture. Really, I don’t. I consider myself very open-minded and able to see things from various perspectives. I’m constantly thinking, analyzing, and observing. There were so many experiences I had where my only conclusion was “WTF?”  
  • Japanese people are very standoffish toward westerners. To the point where it’s obviously uncomfortable at times. I felt the least welcome in Tokyo than I have in any other city I’ve ever been to in the world. That being said, buy them a glass of whisky or get them drunk, and that all goes out the window. I think their culture, in general, isn’t very outgoing. They’re shy. That, mixed with with a large language barrier creates an environment that’s standoffish. 
  • There is no better sushi than the sushi in japan. It’s much more complex than just the quality of the fish which, really has very very little to do with the quality of the sushi. Watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi to really understand what I’m saying. 
  • The Bangkok BTS is more packed than any Tokyo metro or rail I was on and yes, I rode at rush hour in both cities. 
  • As someone who’s gluten-intolerant, eating in Tokyo was scary. It ended up being much easier and much more pleasurable than I had expected. You just have to come prepared and do your research. 
  • The mobile-phone-zombie world our parents and, to some extent, my generation fears is alive and exemplified in Tokyo. 

Ok. That’s all for now, folks. Thanks for reading and following. I actually think this blog is the first revel blog I’ve ever finished. Lol. We’re already plotting our next adventure as well as a mini-adventure in spring-ish. Stay tuned! 

Traversing the canals

We decided to head over to the main river running through the heart of Bangkok, Chao Phraya, and catch a boat to explore the city by boat. We got there a little late which meant that if we rode the public water taxis, we’d have only had about thirty minutes. We instead opted for a long tail boat ride tour. I’ve been up and down the Chao Phraya River before, but never traversed the canals. 

We had a great time! The canals were small, slow, local, and provided an awesome backstage view to real Thailand suburbs. I was great. We were super stoked that we opted for this type of boat experience and felt it was worth every penny of our 500baht ($15ish). Extra bonus was that the tour was at sundown, so it was super romantic. 🙂 

Oh, and the river is gross btw. I mean g r o s s. Don’t let the water hit your mouth. It’s the kind of water where things swim up your pee hole. Lol. Seriously. 

“Sorry, we’re closed” – Thailand

Some people have asked, “why haven’t you been blogging since arriving in Bangkok?”  Well, because we’re not really doing anything but chilling out. The entire country is pretty much shut down for the month due to the king passing away. This is a big, BIG deal. As the Thais enter a year of mourning, most major entertainment and sights are shut down for a month from October 14 to November 14. This means no Thai boxing, no festivals, no clubs, no concerts, etc. I even heard that all entertainment shows on tv have been cancelled and only news it being broadcasted. Everyone is wearing black and the mood is very subdued and somber here. 

Also, there were no alcohol sales for the first two to three days we got here due to a major Buddhist holiday. So, in a nutshell, we’ve been eating, swimming in our amazing 41st floor infinity pool, and eating. 🙂 


Bars have since opened up (albeit with no music) and restaurants are serving alcohol now, which is good, but this was going to be the more social leg of our trip consisting of Thai boxing and clubs mostly, which we’re unable to do. That being said, we’re having a fantastic time. We’ve found some cool cocktail bars, one of which is a speakeasy called Havana Social. 

A lone, non-descript phone booth sits in a dark, off the beaten path alleyway far from the main road. You enter the booth, dial the code of the day (which you have to acquire on your own), hear a buzz, press against the door and you enter another time. A pre-cold war era Cuban jazz club. It was fantastic and really captured the essence of Cuba and what if was like back then. No detail was overlooked. It was perfectly executed. Having been to Cuba, I can attest that you truly feel like you’ve stepped into another world. Their drinks were on-point and they had a cigar lounge upstairs serving, duh, Cuban cigars. We went the first day they re-opened since the passing of the King, so it was a little dead and they were not playing music, but a great time was had none the less. 

  

 

Wildlife Friends Foundation

The first day after arriving in Bangkok, we went to the Wildlife Friends Foundation, three hours outside Bangkok. This meant we got picked up at 7:30am. This meant being up at 6:30am the day after flying in from Tokyo. Not our best decision, but those of you that know us know this certainly was not our worst. This is one of the very few animal sanctuaries in Thailand that don’t further exploit the animals. They rescue them and attempt to rehabilitate them and release them into the wild. A lot of times the animals can’t be released back into the wild. In the case of elephants, when they’re captures as babies and raised in the entertainment fields, they’re stripped of their natural instincts and unable to do things like properly bathe and take care of themselves. 

They’re also focused on education campaigns to educate the local people as to the dangers and inhumanity surrounding the owning of animals like bears, monkeys, and otters as pets. It’s shockingly cheap to purchase a baby monkey or bear. One can be had for about 500baht, or $14.23. They’re super cute and manageable when they’re little, but quickly become impossible to manage as they get older and grow claws and start to revolt against being stuck inside a house or caged up. As a result, they get locked in rooms or tied to chains because the owners don’t know what the fuck to do with them. So Wildlife Friends is trying to stop this through education. 

I also learned that any elephant that allows human contact or allows humans to get near it has been severely abused and broken down physically and psychologically. Period. There’s no two ways about it. In order for an elephant to not kill you, these things have been done to it. Horrible things. Any elephant that allows you to ride it, any elephant that’s used in movies, circus acts, or that walks the street for pictures and donations has been abused in ways you can’t imagine. 

Speaking of riding elephants, don’t ever ride an elephant. Ever. Their backs and spines were not designed for that. It brings excruciating pain to the animal and literally breaks it’s back. You can see where their spines are crushed in animals that were used for riding. It’s heartbreaking. Yes, you can ride an elephant on its head, but that’s the only place. But remember, if an elephant allows someone in its head, it’s been abused. Severely. Not to mention I the mahoots have sticks with spikes on the end that they smash into the soft part of the elephants head in order to get it to go where he wants it while you’re riding it. This abuse leads to blindness, torn ears, and severe wounds to the head and face. I rode an elephant back in 2008 when I was here last and I thought I did my research. I though I was doing the right thing, as do so many people. Its not ok. 

So yeah. Don’t ride elephants. And don’t support elephant tourism or elephant entertainment. It’s fucked up. 

Anyway, the rescue center has about 54 full time volunteers that live on center and a few full time employees. They also have a medical center with three full time vets on staff to care for the animals. Next time you’re in Thailand, I highly recommend going there to check it out. It was really cool and eye opening. We spent all day touring around with our guide, Lilly, who answered any and all questions we threw at her. We had a delicious lunch and really enjoyed ourselves from start to finish. We got to take an elephant on its daily walk, feed her, and then bathe her. It’s one of the cooler things I’ve done in my life. 



 

ME day

On Friday, our last full day in Tokyo, Bill and I decided to do our own thing for the first half of the day. I wanted to wake up early and hit the Tsukiji Fish Market and he didn’t. I also wanted to spend a few solid hours playing shmups, so we agreed to meet late afternoon at the HEY arcade in Akihabara 

I got up early, about 7:45am, threw on my clothes and headed out to the subway, bound for the fish market. I got there about 9am and strolled the outer market. The market area is divided into two areas, the inner market and the outer market. The inner market is where the fish auction happens at 6am and is also the site of the wholesale fish area. The outer market is a collection of stalls surrounding the inner market. One can visit the fish auction, in the inner market, but they limit it to 120 a day which means that you basically have to start lining up at 3:00am-ish. Since public transit doesn’t run at that time you also have to either take a cab, sleep near it, or be up and drinking somewhere near it to line up that early. Fuck that noise. I don’t need to see fish auctioned off that badly. At least I think I don’t, and the great part is, ill never know because I didn’t experience it. Anyway, the inner fish market then opens for public perusal around 10am. I spent the first hour strolling around the outer market. And by strolling, I mean eating. For breakfast, I had fresh mochi with a strawberry inside and tuna and toro that had just been cut from the fish infront of me. Both were delicious, obviously. 


Just before 10am I made my way over to the entrance to the inner market. It’s nuts. The Tsukiji fish market is the largest fish market in the world filled with all types of sea creatures for sale on the wholesale market. Regular people are allowed inside to gawk, but you have to be on your toes and stay the fuck out of the way. Remember, this is the largest fish market in the world and business doesn’t stop because you want to take a picture. It’s hectic and chaotic. I spent about an hour walking around down all the little stalls and alley ways. It was awesome. I highly recommend it. Such a great experience. I saw everything I could ever imagine. Somewhere buried in the bowels of the market I came across a stall disassembling a bluefin won at auction that morning. Using knives the size of samurai swords, they meticulously carved up the tuna and bagged the pieces for sale that day. Just being there and experiencing the real inner-workings of the market was a real treat. 

After experiencing the inner market, I was hungry again. I made my way back out to the sushi stalls of the outer market. They were easy to find, just head toward the hoards of people lined up outside the array of 6-10 seat sushi stalls. These stalls at heralded as some of the best sushi places on planet earth. Arguably as good as Jiro’s place in many cases, some would even say better. Basically, it doesn’t get any better than this. I did my research and had three places in mind. I chose Yamazaki and stood in line with the rest of the people. There are only 10 counter seats at Yamazaki, everyone else waits their turn outside the small shop, staring into the window anxiously waiting their turn. I was there for only about 20 minutes and, because I was a party of 1, was ushered in by the man managing the queue. I was greeted with groans and heard this guy say, “oh my god… So fucking lucky!”  as I walked past the people that had been there for hours. Haha. Suckers. 🙂

It was everything I hoped. I gorged myself on otoro (the most fatty cuts of tuna), hamachi, and all the specials they had on the board: Japanese sea bass, rosy bass, bonito, uni, and a bunch of things I don’t even remember the names of. All nigiri. The place doesn’t even do rolls. It’s nigiri and maki only. Don’t even try to order a California roll or a rainbow roll. Great service and great sushi made for an experience I’ll never forget. I didn’t hold back and spent what would be a shocking amount of money to some people, but it was, for me, another bucket list adventure and worth every penny. 

Afterward, I headed back to the HEY arcade in Akihabara to stuff myself on shmups. I spent about 3 hours doing nothing but playing shmups. It was fantastic. I loved every minute of it. Again, like I said before, I could spend days there. It would never be enough, but having a few marathon hours quenched the thirst. 

Bill arrived, played some games with me, then we went to a maid cafe. A maid cafe is just what it sounds like. A cafe staffed with girls, dressed as maids. It’s a total Japanese thing and weird. It’s one of the many facets of their culture that I just don’t get. These girls act very juvenile, and shy, and cutesy. It’s not a sexual thing. At least not on the surface. The place was packed with all types of people. Japanese business men, single guys, couples, etc. I really tried to understand it and “get it”, but I was unable to. You could pay extra to have the maid dance on stage doing a type of dance routine your sisters did when they were bored at home from elementary school, but to j-pop rather than Madonna. You could pay for a picture with your maid too if you wanted. We opted for none of that and just got a beer and whisky respectively, then got the fuck out of there feeling no more enlightened than we were when we walked in. 

We then went to play pachinko. Again, don’t get it. It’s kind of like if you took a pinball machine and made it vertical. You shoot these tiny balls, rapidly, and they fall between slots. You try and get them into this hole at the bottom. Apparently, if you do this properly, you win more balls. You can redeem the ball a for money. So it’s gambling. We dropped 1000¥, won nothing, and called it done. 


After our last quick meal and packing up, we headed to Shibuya to check out Tower Records. I had recently watched a fascinating documentary about the rise and fall of Tower Records. One thing that stuck out was that in Japan, Tower is still alive and well. Being music fanatics, we had to go check out the 7 story Tower Records, the largest one in existence. It was sweet. Just what I expected. 7 floors of music, movies, and merch. We picked up a few things as souvenirs and headed to a fancy cocktail bar for our last drink in Tokyo. 

..
It took us about 25 minutes of wandering around before we finally found the place. When we walked in, it was fate, two empty seats at the bar. After our failed Bar High Five experience, this was a welcome change. We enjoyed two masterfully prepared cocktails each. I had a Japanese Negroni, which is a Negroni made of Japanese whisky rather than gin (sidebar: gin is gross) and, of course, my drink — a Manhattan. Both were excellent and cured my fancy cocktail itch. It was after 00:30, which means the trains weren’t running, which meant we had to take a cab. No biggie. $15 and we were home. A perfect end to a perfect adventure. 


Next stop: Bangkok!

Chill Day

After a few glorious days in Tokyo, one can only do the sane thing: have a chill day. We’re averaging about 6.5 miles a day, which is great. I usually average 3.5 a day during a normal day in Portland, so it’s nice to be out walking more. We were obviously tired and didn’t even leave the apartment until 1pm. We did our usual Cambodian lunch to fuel us up for the day. We decided to just relax and go to the Shinjuku Gardens, which happened to be about a mile from our apartment, which was awesome. These gardens are HUGE. An oasis in the middle of Tokyo chaos. The gardens are so big that there are different sections such an traditional Japanese gardens, English gardens, rose gardens, etc. The exciting part for me was obviously the Japanese garden portion. I really, really love Japanese gardens. When I lived in Los Angeles, there were gardens atop what was then the New Otani (I think?) Hotel in Japan Town that I used to go to whenever I was in the area. It was a hidden gem that I loved sharing with people. I’ve also been to the Japanese gardens in San Francisco and recently had the pleasure of visiting the Japanese gardens in Portland, which was recently re-opened after many months of closure due to renovation. So yeah, I love Japanese gardens. 

The Shinjuku Gardens didn’t disappoint. I really enjoyed them. Obviously the pics don’t do it justice, but the garden complex was gigantic and very relaxing. 





Apparently the gardens closed at 4:30pm but we had no idea because the announcements were in Japanese. So come about 4:50pm it was getting dark and we decided to leave. We approached a different gate than the one we entered (there are three) and it was locked. That’s when we noticed that the park closed at 4:30pm. Now it’s good to mention that the entire park is enclosed. The only way in or out is via these thre gates. Anyway, when we noticed what was going on we kind of panicked for a second. “Oh shit, what if we get locked in?!”, was our first thought. The gate we entered was way on the other side of the park. It would take us 15mins easy to reach that gate. There was no one around. At all. “Fuck”, we thought as we briskly walked toward the direction we entered. Finally, as we approached the gate we saw two other sets of stragglers. “Thank god”, we said. At least there were more of us and we weren’t the only ass holes that didn’t get the memo. The very nice staff opened the gate for us and let us out. 

On our walk home we decided to hit up a proper sushi dinner spot. Bill was gracious and agreed, even though he doesn’t really like sushi. I know, I don’t get it either. Makes no fucking sense to me. It actually slightly angers me. We picked a medium-range spot in our hood and went in. It wa a game changer for me. I’ve been eating sushi for about 28 years. When I was in 7th grade, my then best friend, Will Wu’s parents used to take us to Japan Town in Los Angeles to play video games and eat sushi on Sunday’s. That was my first introduction to sushi and I fell in love. I’ve been eating it regularly, about once every one to two weeks on average, ever since. I’m a total snob. I don’t gorge on ginger. I would never add wasabi to my soy sauce nor would I ever, ever dip my nigiri rice in the soy sauce. I don’t do bullshit rolls with avacado, or sauces, or anything weird. I just want the rice with toppings, or maki rolls. I can easily put down $60-$80 by myself for dinner which is pretty much the only reason I don’t eat it every day. Anyway, I’ve eaten at some pretty good sushi places in my life — or so I thought. The rice here was perfectly seasoned and the fish was amazingly fresh. Shockingly so. To the point where I questioned what I’ve been eating previously. I also got to thinking what a “top” sushi place in Tokyo would be like? Even Bill, who doesn’t like sushi, said “it’s the best sushi I’ve ever had, for sure”. After that he said “that being said, I’d rather of had a chicken skewer”. I had to hold back the urge to punch him in the face. 🙂 


Afterward, we went to the Watering Hole, a craft beer house in Yoyogi that boasts many beers on tap and many more in bottle. Even though I don’t drink beer, I figured I’d do Bill a solid after him having to endure the best sushi he’s ever had in his life. Plus, I knew at worst I could get whisky. 

Sidebar: notice I’ve been spelling whisky without the “e”? The general rule of thumb is, if the country doesn’t have an “e” in the name, like Canada, Scotland, or Japan, it’s “whisky”, otherwise it’s “whiskey” like in Ireland, the United States, and Germany. 

Turns out, this beer bar was pretty dope. They had like 8 craft ciders available, half of which were from Portland cider houses! They had two from one of my favorite cider makers, Reverend Nat’s! I was beside myself. Reverend Nat’s is a pretty small operation so I was shocked to see it 4,798 miles from home across the Pacific Ocean. Granted it was 1000¥ ($10) for a 12oz bottle, but fuckig hell, it wa a proper cider in the middle of Tokyo. 


I had some admin work shit to take care of and wanted to hit the fish market early the next day, so we called it a night. Bill went out for a bit solo, but I was in bed by midnight. 

Days blending together 

I just realized I hadn’t posted in two days. I also realized that I couldn’t remember what I did over the last two days. Thank god for my pictures. This city is in overdrive and your senses are constantly being bombarded from every direction at every moment. For a slow-paced west-coaster like myself, it’s intense, duuuuude. But fucking awesome, obvs. 
 Tuesday 

Tuesday we went to check out Tokyo tower. It’s basically an Eiffel Tower replica that has an observation deck at about 150meters up. The views were breathtaking. It really allowed me to see the sheer size and density of Tokyo. I stood there in awe, taking in the worlds largest city from an amazing vantage point. You don’t really realize how big the place is, nor can your brain comprehend, until you get high up like this. Well worth the 900¥ ($9ish). 


While we were exiting the tower we saw the folks from MariCar. MariCar is this company that dresses you up in Mario costumes and let’s you race around the streets of Tokyo in go carts that do about 50-60mph!!!!! Seriously. The only catch, you have to have your international driver’s license, which we didn’t get. My best PROTIP for you that plan on visiting Tokyo: get your international driver’s license. It’s super simple. It takes like $15 and 10mins at a AAA branch. After seeing their group, I was super sad that I didn’t do this. Oh well. 


 Afterward we went to Akihabara. My second time, Bill’s first. We popped onto the Taito Hey arcade which is known around the world as the greatest shmup (shoot ’em up – think Gradius, R-Type, Raiden, etc) arcade on the planet. Being a huge shmup player and fan for decades, this was bucket list for me. I was not disappointed. Shmups in Japan are a HUGE genre of games with hoards of extremely loyal and dedicated players. Unfortunately, only a fraction of the shmups make it to the USA either as domestic releases or as region-free (meaning the discs can be played in any region). Mostly they’re region-locked and only released for Japanese home consoles. So as a USA shmup fan, to play the latest and greatest shmups,  my options are either buy an NTSC-J home console, or go to Japan. Well, im in Japan. It was f u c k i n g BAD A S S. I got to play games Ive only read about on blogs and forums. Games I’ve been watching on YouTube for years. Arcade versions of games that will never be released in the USA. It was heaven. I could easily spend an entire week there. Seriously. Fun fact about me: I was planning on opening a Japanese-style shmup arcade many moons ago. 


After some food and R&R we decided to go check out Bar High Five, one of the top 50 rated bars in the world. Mixologists come from all parts of the globe to train under the master mixologists at High Five. It wasn’t close. If was over in Ginza, which is a good 30mins+ by subway from where we were staying. Much farther than I thought it was going to be. With eager anticipation we entered the elevator and descended to the basement. The doors opened and we were greeted by a friendly staff member who informed us that there were no more seats for the night and that waiting was not an option. Cue sad trombone. Mother fucker. I kind of just stood there in shock not really knowing what to do. I think I thought that if, perhaps, I didn’t move,things would change. Or maybe I was just giving my brains moment to settle into the idea that after a relatively long journey and days of anticipation, it wasn’t happening. 

Since this was our plan for the evening, we decided to just cut our losses and head back to our hood for a drink at Bar Flat, the bar we went to when Bill arrived. We had a great time talking to the locals and Shitoshi, the bartender. All was not lost with the evening and we left feeling good about the night. 

Wednesday

On Tuesday we found this great Cambrodian restaurant that was so good we decided to go again on Wednesday. It’s delicious and, best of all, I can pretty much eat everything on the menu. It might seem odd to opt for Cambodian food in the middle of Tokyo, but there’s a lot to be said about consistency and familiarity when traveling. 


Afterward we again headed to Akihabara to do a little shopping. I could easily spent my entire trip, and entire budget there. 


We then headed back over to Shinjuku to fuel up on Yakatori in Piss Alley again before our nighttime activities (read: whisky). We picked a spot at random and proceeded to straight up murder a few plates of meat and veggies. It was great. Again. As expected.


We went straight from Piss Alley to the red light district of Shinjuku for the night’s entertainment. This sentence sounds much worse than it is. We went for Robot Restaurant. I’ve been thinking for hours how to describe this show and it’s impossible. Think everything that is wild and crazy about Tokyo but on a mixture of LSD and meth. Picture a show filled with ominous narration, a light show, pole dancers, an all-lady marching band, monkeys driving tanks, samurais, panda ninjas, glow sticks, robots, robots in rainbow clown wigs, giant robots driven by scantily clad women, dinosaurs, tigers, cavewomen, lasers, motorcycles, and more. It’s like Burning Man — you can describe it with words or pictures, but you really won’t get it unless you go check it out. It was a bit pricey at 80,000¥, but I walked out feeling very satisfied. That is, after I figured out the answer to my initial question of “what the fuck just happened?”  


After the show we realized we were just two blocks from Golden Gai, the network of micro bars that we visited two nights ago, so we decided to go check out more bars. We crawled up these super narrow stairs into this attic bar called Narnia. When we got to the top the place was packed with Japanese business men, filled with smoke, and like fate, with two empty seats. We saddled up to the bar and, to our surprise, the cute and adorable bartender spoke almost perfect English. After a few sips of our whisky we both knew this place was a keeper and what started out as cautious uncomfortable environment quickly turned into an awesome time with some super cool locals. We had a great time and ended up staying for a couple of hours. We said our goodbyes and left in search of our next great experience. 

We ran into this white guy from Philly named Andrew who was living in Tokyo studying linguistics and he kind of became  our tour guide. The dude was a bit weird, but just weird enough that you still wanted to be taken around by him. We all went to a few bars, met some great people, and had a blast. We made it to Shinjuku station just in time to catch one of the last trains to Yoyogi. 

When we got off the train in Yoyogi and headed toward our place, I realized I was hungry and needed something to soak up the alcohol. I remembered the highly recommended Yakatori place, the “no seat” place from my first day, was still open, so we decided to stop in for a late night snack and hoping there would actually be a seat for white people this time. There was! We ordered another drink and greedily rattled off an order of skewered meats and veggies. About 5 minutes before our food arrived I realized I had made a critical mistake. I forgot to say “shio”, which means salt. By default, Yakatori is served with a soy glad that’s applied before grilling. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. It was too late to correct, so I just asked for the food to-go and figured Bill could eat it in the morning. I was pretty depressed. Lol. I was so looking forward to that. Oh well. Lesson learned. Don’t order Yakatori while drunk. Just kidding, it’s the only way to order it, but you bet your ass I’ll never make that mistake again. Lol.