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Tung Tai'd

One of the most common questions I'm asked in Asia is "How much Japanese do you speak?"

Glenns' Wonderings

We wander the back streets of Noge, checking out the modern 'floating world'.

This red light district has it all.

A large black car pulls up to the sidewalk and disgorges two alarmingly tall and pale Russian women. Chatty Filipinas smiling and laughing and giving out meishi in the streets,
Cool Glamourous Koreans (with thier distinct make up and hair styles) hanging out in restaurants and convinience stores that sport Hungol sign boards,
karaoke sung so badly that it creates a false doppler effect,
slimy guys lurking in dark doorways,
neon lights announcing 'sopurando' with rates listed for the bath (6000 for basic, the rest comes off a menu),
love hotels with pictures of disgusting little rooms and bed dressing that resembles disposable diapers, yakitori stands on the sidewalks - some frightening some tempting,
a man shaking his head saying 'damei damei' at us but not to us (because I brought Angie, because we're white, out of fear, shame, concern?),
polaroids of hostesses on store fronts,
shadows of patrons against shoji screen (human shadow puppets - the magic of Japan),
the weeping willows (ghosts of Japanese legends) along the riverbank,
red lanterns refected,
taxis lurking with unblinking headlights - like sharks amidst chum,
the smell of sake and grilled beef,
mixed groups finishing the first party, men planning the second or third.

It's a heady brew - Somewhere between 'Blade Runner' and Ukiyoe prints. We don't want to leave, - we're on a buzz from all the input -but we must, so home we go.

GH 03/99