Monday, January 29, 2007

Pub: A Misnomer

Although English is quite common around Japan, it often doesn't mean quite what you think it means. Usually, you can puzzle it out. If you're lucky, the fuzziness in the meaning comes from the fact that an unintentional (dirty) pun has been made. But... you can still understand what they meant to say.

Intentional meaning: Please don't come here to stare at women, you pervert. This is a WOMEN'S clothing store!
Accidental Filth: You can take her from behind, or take her on the table...but if you aren't regularly humping that chick (preferably RIGHT NOW) you aren't welcome here, buddy.

On the other hand, sometimes the vocabulary is used in a totally unconnected manner.

For example:


To me, these are harmless words that involve food and drink.

Here in Japan, you'll find out very quickly that the menu at the "PUB" is quite different from what you are expecting.

These establishments might give you an idea what to expect.

In case you need some help reading between those lines, these words all refer to "hostess clubs". I like to describe hostess clubs as "emotional strip clubs". You see, rather than paying good looking women to take off their clothes, customers pay good looking women to laugh at their jokes, pour their drinks, and generally make the paying men feel like they are loved and wanted. I'd like to think that this practice draws something from the tradition of geishas as entertainers for hire, who use their talents in conversation and performance to entertain men. Then again, they also bear a strong resemblance to "hookers that play nice".

THIS STORY IS QUITE DIRTY. It is not suitable for work, or for my mother. Mother, you can go now.

For the record: I have a VERY limited number of experiences (ie. one) with hostess clubs. And that experience...was not so good.

A few friends and I managed to stumble into one by accident while looking for a "BAR", after the bouncer promised us 3000 yen for all-you-can-drink. Of course, this is all YOU can drink. The women push you to buy THEM drinks, which is how they make their money. Even though my drunken haze was so thick I could have cut it with a dull spork, I remember one thing:

A very large, very Russian woman plopped herself down on my lap and said "You give 3000 yen, we go."

A few thoughts rushed through my drunken mind, things like

I don't know where this train is going, but I want to get off. No... not THAT get off. Stupid brain... the "escape" form of get off.... gah. 3000 yen? What, does she make it up on volume?!?... Volume!? ewww... ok... AAargh... say something ... anything....alright brain...let's get this crazy chick off of us...

"NO WAY! Get off of me!!!".

After this, I was tenderly - and probably deservedly - escorted (you might say "tossed") out of the bar by one of the large bouncers, who have much less tolerance for drunk people after they choose not to spend 3000 yen on a Jumbo Russian Take Out Special.

Special thanks to Hana, who sent me the top picture while the store(?)... and who will probably be displeased that her pic was posted in a chat about hookers for the mind.

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