Friday, September 23, 2005


Stand-up comedy

Yesterday being the last day of my working week, I persuaded one of my workmates, Wes, to go for a drink after work (he didn't take that much persuading, to be honest.)

It turned out that Wes knew of a tachinomiya (stand-up bar) close to the station, although it's possible that he didn't appreciate the true significance of this find. I did.

Walker and I attended the Furukawabashi tachinomiya on a pretty regular basis and still go back there from time to time, because it's dirt cheap and there are no gaijin. Because Walker would end up arguing the toss about baseball or movies with the locals (both of which are complete mysteries to me, bearing in mind that we're talking about Japanese baseball and Japanese movies), I was largely a conversational bystander, but it was good fun, particularly when the master was trying to kill cockroaches without drawing attention to the fact that there were cockroaches.

Anyway, I was stoked when I found out there was an affordable watering hole within a stone's throw of my school. We went in and, typically, the place was tacked-on to the side of a liquor store and full of dour-faced, middle-aged Japanese guys. Everyone seemed pretty intent on the TV, so Wes and I just talked to each other. The master pointedly turned up the volume on the TV.

Thankfully, we were able to strike up a conversation with some of the other patrons and the whole place began to seem a lot more relaxed. A couple of stray cats wandered in the door, I asked the master if this was normal, but he said they were a pest and hissed at them. The cats didn't budge an inch.

I was a little puzzled by how clean and well-groomed the cats seemed, compared to the strays in my neighbourhood. Then the master threw a glass of water over one of them and they all scarpered. Another mystery was solved.

As with all tachinomiya, the bar was pretty grubby and populated by people who don't converse with foreigners too much, but the prices were cheap and once the locals had thawed out a bit, we had a pretty good chat with them. This place is definitely one for the future.

Wes, incidentally, studied at McMaster. As far as I can tell, this is Canada's primary source of loudmouths.

Wes sounds like a delightful young man. I hope he enjoys his time in Japan and comes back to Canada prepared to use his brilliant education to lead this wonderful country to greatness, along with his fellow McMaster grads.

Please note - McMaster is certainly not Canada's primary source for loudmouths. The University of Toronto is. This blogger, as usual, is highly uninformed.

Brody backs into the cabin, white-faced

"I think we're gonna need a bigger boat..."
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