Saturday, September 1, 2007


Bowling was actually a lot of fun. I've never been a huge fan of bowling, but I had a great time.

Before I get to the bowling, I'd like to mention that I was in the lounge playing a game of Starfox and the dorm manager Aki comes up and asks me if I've ever played Space Harrier and shows me the game on the Sega Saturn. For those of you who aren't video game connoisseurs, the Sega Saturn is probably the most underrated piece of video gaming hardware ever, with incredible games that were only released in Japan. I was surprised that Aki, of all people, was a Saturn fan.

If you didn't (or couldn't) read my other blog about Aki, he not only was the manager of a prominent bank in the early to mid 90's, but also graduated with a business degree from NYU and was a body builder in college. And, apparently, a die hard Sega Saturn fan.

Getting back to the topic of bowling, it was a large group of people from the dorms. It was a large group, and some people I didn't know too well, but I made an effort to talk to them. I made a Russian girl frustrated (in a comical way), because I kept going up to her and saying "What's up?" As it turns out, non-Americans have NO idea on how to respond to such a statement.

The weird thing about bowling, first off, was it was on the 7th floor of a building. I mean, sure it's Tokyo, and I'm getting used to things being stuck up in high places, but a bowling alley was a first for me.
One of the strangest things I saw while bowling was this ad for the Rotary Club. It was all in English and looked very much like it belonged in a bowling alley in smalltown USA, but it seemed sorely out of place in Tokyo.

I'm not sure I understood why, but people were dressed up as pandas or wearing pink nurse's uniforms while bowling. I'm sure it made sense to them, but I found it to be quite random, funny, and bizarre.

The highlight of the evening had to be the drunken businessmen next to us. They were loud, boisterous, energetic, and were willing to cheer anybody on for any reason at any time. They had plenty of beer and a decent amount of whiskey and were having a grand old time. They were also very friendly and I engaged in a lot of non-verbal communication and some light chat. It was nice giving a high-five to someone I couldn't really talk to very well.

On the way home, I noticed all these fish plaques on the floor. Were they covering something? Walk of fame for the fish of Tokyo? Further proof that Japanese people are obsessed with fish? All of the above? I'm not sure. The first one I took a picture of came out the best, so here it is:

I didn't do so hot with my bowling, but that was not the important part at all. The important thing was that I had a good time and got to know some people I'm living with better.

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