The Ritz to the Rubble

So I was out in Osaka last night. Bar-hopping with a couple of guys until the trains started running again, and we rode back to Hirakata at about 6 in the morning. I’d been out with one of the guys to Umeda at the start of of Golden Week – a mild-mannered chap in my International Negotiation class, he turns into a pint-sized Mexican sex fiend when presented with alcohol and Japanese girls. We ended up meeting quite late, and trawling Namba, the main party district of Osaka centered around the Dotonbori canal. Clubs and bars being open until 5am, we had a leisurely search for somewhere to pass the time. A meat-market club seemed to fit the bill, until the guys on the door checked my ID, and discovered I was under age (20, in Japan). To my shame and discredit, I got KB’d. Took me back a few years, I can tell you.

The night improved from then on, as we found a decent rock club in Amerika-mura, a trendy district full of Osaka’s young things. I, for one, was overjoyed – the Japanese club scene seemed to be all dance music, and I had no idea you could find rock clubs here. It had the classic atmosphere: dirty, sticky wooden flooring, neon signage, moshing camararderie, the oddly metro guy who kept touching my arms – wait. That’s not something you’d find at the Cockpit!

I ran into an Aussie who had come out here to work for a law firm. She didn’t speak Japanese, but her work didn’t really require it. Although I’d heard previously that for foreigners working in law firms in Japan, language ability isn’t that important, it still brought me up short. She has a job, and I’m just a bum of a student. Yet I consider myself superior to people in Japan to people who can’t speak the language. There’s a moral here, but I’m a little too hungover to process it.

More to come, maybe. In the meantime, see these nice posts on expats and making friends while travelling alone. As I’m going to be staying on for a full month after exams finish, it looks like I’ll doing a lot of that.


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