Stylish Tokyo ladies wear staggeringly high nude heels, thus elongating their legs and ensuring that I will never be a stylish Tokyo lady.
I share their tendency toward hobbling, though.
My lower back is playing cruel and unprecedented tricks on me so I’m self medicating with all the seat time I can manage in front of food and, surprisingly, beer. Thus, on a solo day trip to Shiboyu, I have managed merely a quick jaunt to a towering Tower Records before diving under the streets for some lunch and a cold one. I wanted whiskey, but I guess this place doesn’t have that. I don’t have any idea what I ordered, either, or how much it costs because of all of the pointing I did and this menu’s conspicuous lack of Arabic numerals. Oh, my Kirin’s here. Might as well photograph it:
The thing in the black cup looks interesting but since I don’t know if it’s a drink, soup, or a finger bowl for cleaning, I’m going to use my smelling before I have a go. What if I were Amy? What would Amy do? (Amy, for those of you unfamiliar, is nose-blind.)
Oh, my lord, I haven’t had a beer in years; it’s foul. If a Natty Ice and a Natty Light had an incestuous six pack of anemic babies who then intermarried for centuries, one of them would eventually abort this drink. I’ll probably have four of them. My back really hurts. Food’s here!
That red thing: I don’t think I was supposed to eat that! There’s a hole in my stomach and my nose is crying; these might be my parting words!
Never mind. A few bites later, everything is pleasantly tainted with the lingering force of this pepper, and my stomach’s no longer burning because I’ve coated it with the flood of spice-induced tears I keep inside. Lunch is actually quite delicious. It’s a noodle… it’s an egg! It’s a noodle… it’s an egg! This Kirin is getting easier to drink.
The muted lighting and mood music in my subterranean tavern are fine catalysts for an active imagination. It’s the kind of place that keeps a side room for gangsters. I hope one of the Yakuza says hi to me! I need to get out of here…
Twenty minutes later: I have taken action against my little bitch vertebrae in the form of two of these suckers:
Aspirin in general is totally alien to me so I figure a couple of the foreign patosick tabs should do the trick. And although Shiboyu is this thriving, hopping, Times Squarey kind of place with youths and haircuts galore, I’m not a shopper. I’m currently parked in another pub for some people watching. Ooh! They’re playing John Denver here! And there’s a glass of the proof stuff in front of me so I’m good.
For the record, Kirin whiskey is better than its beer. This place smells pleasantly of soy and cigars, and my emotional pleasure has vanquished my physical pain.
My kindly, accommodating bartender has asked if I’d like a shingle or a double for my next trick. I ain’t raising no roofs here, so double it is. A pox on the fool who invented shingles! Whoa, the guy next to me just lit a thoughtful cigarette and is puffing away contentedly. Like the Alehouse in 2001, you can do that here.
Whoops, my boobs fell out. Guess my shirt is too loose and my hanging camera too heavy. That lady has been staring at me for awhile, sooo… explanation accepted. Mental apology made.
So an hour later, I’ve been sitting on trains for thirty minutes on my way back to Shinagawa. I’ve decided that rather than risk further damage, I’m heading back to my room for some books and some supermarket sushi. And honestly, the googling of “lower back pain” that’s most certainly going to commence. Though it’s probably because the serving size is mathematically accurate for someone who’s half of me, these bizarro pills aren’t working and I’m grudgingly ready to call it a day.
Night y’all, ’cause it’s midnightish in Portland.