Nar3: Japan

The Barber Party
Posted on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004 at 8:18am by Brett.
(Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004 at 10:18pm Japanese Standard Time)

I've mentioned Tohru before. He's a guy that I'm tutoring in English. A couple months ago, he said that his friend, who happened to be a barber, wanted to meet me. It turned out to be a good deal for me because I got a free haircut from it.

About a week after the haircut, Tohru told me that his barber friend wanted to have a party for me and my gaijin friends...He said that they could all have free haircuts, as long as they didn't mind be models. I didn't quite understand that, but told my friends, and Shannon knew that being a "model" was a lot closer to being a guinea pig for student barbers. Needless to say, my friends weren't thrilled with the idea...

I told Tohru that my friends didn't need hair cuts, and he said that his barber friend still wanted to have a party to "make sure we're enjoying our time in Japan." This was during my time in hel^H^H^Hband so it was kind of hard to find a decent night to have this party. He would ask me about it every week, and I, in turn, would ask my friends. It become known as "The Barber Party."

When I had my hair cut, The Barber took a picture of me on his cell phone. I was the first foreigner whose hair he cut, so he was all happy. He apparently showed the picture to some of his female employees, and they decided they wanted to meet me. That was how this whole thing started.

Tonight, The Barber Party became reality. Last week, Tohru wanted me to get 2 or 3 friends to come to this party. He said guys were probably best, and then told me that The Barber would be bringing some girls. It sounded like some sort of semi blind date arragment thing. I asked a couple of my guy friends to come, but they couldn't because of finals this week. So Liz and Shannon did me the favor of coming to the party...

We got there, and the girls and Barber came out of the van, and with a quick meeting of the eyes, Liz, Shannon, and I all immediately thought the same thing: The Barber is a pimp! And the girls...um...the girls looked kinda like the kind of girls that would be in the company of a pimp.

We were going to an izakaya. Uh...Very Japanese. Think: bar, with better food, and more lighting. And Japanese style private rooms. Uh...hard to explain....

Anyway. We get all settled in, and start chatting. There's a language barrier because The Barber and his posse, if you will, are from Ibaraki-ken, which is (along with Hokkaido) basically the Appalachia of Japan...accent included! Tohru was best at English and Japanese, so he did a fair amount of translating. It wasn't too bad...I could keep up with the conversation, but didn't speak much. Shannon likes to talk, so we let her do most of it...

At an izakaya, dinner isn't served all at once, but comes pieces at a time as long as you're there. It's a nice system. From the moment we ordered drinks, The Barber was trying to get me drunk. He kept asking me to get nihonshuu (Japanese hard alcohol...not necessarily sake). I wasn't the only one, he kept ordering Liz beer. Even though we kept telling him no, and that we had finals the next day...

We got to talking, and they were all actually really nice. No illegal money gaining jobs going on...They were all a bit older than us with the youngest being 29, but that was cool.

We started talking about ages, and it's always a thing for the Japanese to have the gaijin try to guess their age. Japanese people tend to look really young to gaijin. We played that game for a while, then they asked our ages. They said that the girls looked older than what they were, but I looked young...like a highschooler, they said. The one of them said I looked like a young *name we didn't understand.* We asked them to repeat it, and apparently she said that I look like a young Leonardo DiCaprio. The 3 girls that were there all looked at each other, then grabbed their cell phones and started taking pictures of me. It was, luckily, the only odd thing that happened. Liz said she could see it, but Shannon said she couldn't. I'm with Shannon...They said it was something in the face...

All in all, the Barber Party turned out to be a lot of fun. Shannon and I were invited to hang out with them again sometime next month. And even though Liz will be returning to America, she was also invited to fly back for a party...

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3 Comments for this post.
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eh by Brett [2004/02/03 19:50 ET]
i didn't proof this before sending...
nah! by Pete [2004/02/03 18:32 ET]
Just ignore Jason. When your spelling and grammar get as bad as mine it's really bad... Yours is just kinda bad.

Oh, BTW... Sounds like you had a good time :)
Your spelling/grammar by jason [2004/02/03 16:37 ET]
is really bad...