Road to RSR09 in EZO → Sunset Day 3

Kutchan had some sort of business in Niseko he needed to attend to and wasn't sure what time he'd be back at night. Eventually Erina had to go home, so I went to a manga comic internet kisaten coffee house store thing. Basically you get a private booth with a tv and a computer, free drinks, access to all kinds of comic books (or "manga" if you want to be more accurate/nerdy), and they even have a shower room. I guess if you miss the last train home at night, it's a decent way to kill time until trains start running in the morning. But really, it's not all THAT much more expensive for a capsule hotel (which typically don't allow women, and are also typically only found in super crowded places like Tokyo), so mostly it just seems kind of creepy to me. Aaaanyway... I ended up staying there all day, and as soon as it seemed like businesses might be open (you pay by the hour so I didn't want to stick around longer), I wandered around Sapporo for a while, and eventually went to Otaru to have lunch with my psuedo-host parents, Tetsuji and Yoko Ueno.

Yoko got into some pretty difficult topics of conversation (difficult as in "put my Japanese comprehension to the test"), but she has a very easy-to-follow way of speaking, and it made me feel good that my Japanese ability probably hasn't decreased as much as I think it has. After we chatted it up for a few hours, I met up with Miina and Yuki (Miina said she was bringing "someone I've met before", but I've hung out with Yuki a million times before). We went to an okonomiyaki place that we've all seen a million times before, but only Yuki has actually eaten at. It was pretty damn tasty.

Next up was drinkering time, and I decided it that we had to go to Miwako's favorite bar in Otaru (it's one of my favorites, too, though), Modern Times. We drank pretty much nothing but gin, talked about Miwako's adventures (everyone is excited for her return to Japan... jerks), and how we really do need to start up a business of some sort. Eventually, Tetsuji joined us because he wanted to drink with me.

After the girls went home, he took me to one of his favorite drinking places for middle-aged men. It's the kind of place where there's only about 5 seats at the bar, you purchase your own bottle of whiskey or whatever which they keep at the bar, and they basically keep pooring drinks for you whether you ask for them or not. One of Tetsuji's middle-aged man friends and I talked about Big Sur, California, where he used to live, and along with the barkeeplady, they saw to it that I got quite drunk. Then the other guy decided I needed to experience a "snack" bar.. which was similar to the last place, except you're expected to flirt with a very young waitress/bartender. It was... weird. I had to make the pictures on Flickr friends-only so Dad wouldn't get in trouble (though he wasn't misbehaving because he and Yoko have an impressively strong relationship). But it was fun. Eventually we stumbled home at 2 am. I hope he didn't get in trouble.


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