Monday, June 09, 2008

Japanese Host Club and Brazilian Line Dancing

Ok, so here's the scoop: Ravioli and I are getting married. When I told my friends here in Japan after all the screaming they decided they must hold a bachelorette party for me. Stag parties (or "hen's night" as they are called in Commonwealth countries) are not a tradition in Japan, but we did one for my friend Nao-chan a few years back and she wanted to organize something "nice" for me, too. Thanks, Nao-chan!

I apologize to all the women out there who might accuse me of breaching hen-party code by revealing all, but being Japan, I don't think this particular night was normal. So to all you men out there, just so you know, your wife probably did NOT do this on her big night. She probably did something even more lucrative and scandalous. (wink!)

I was handed the crown of honor (the same one Nao-chan used on her big night) and was escorted to the first event of the evening, a Japanese "Host Club".

HostESS clubs are infamous in Japan, where men pay big money to sit at a table with beautiful women who light their cigarettes and entertain them in conversation, nothing raunchy involved. Yes, my feelings exactly: some Japanese men are so shy that they actually pay women to talk to them.

My friends found a Host Club where "cool" men in shiny suits and glittery chains with comic-book-hero hair-dos sit at your table and entertain women. Our hosts were nothing special, some were funny, some obnoxious, some with bad teeth or far-out hair, and one older guy had the perfect 1980's Jap-mullet. The conversation was nothing worth paying for (Where are you from? How do you and your friends know each other?---boring) but they posed for pictures, cheered for us when we sang karaoke, kept the all-you-can-drink drinks rolling, and we had a great time.

We had decided the next event would be somewhere danceable, and Nao-chan took us to her favorite Brazilian club. They were holding a special event with a live band, and all the Brazilians were dressed to the tee---in their cowboy hats and western boots and checkered dresses! The band was a Brazilian forro (folk kind of music) and country-western band! I remember this kind of music from my days in southern Brazil, that they loved their country music, but being in Japan it was just too weird. At first reluctantly, I learned to dance to Forro (it's actually pretty easy!) and then believe it or not joined in on some line dancing. If you ever catch me doing this again please club me with something. Or at least don't take any pictures...

Don't ever show anyone this picture, please...

Thanks to all who organized and joined me on my big hen night! I will never forget! I wonder who will be next to wear the crown of honor?