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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hostess Bar Psychiatry


I should have realised when we went out with a Japanese business connection last night in Nagoya that we'd end up in a hostess bar - our man virtually lives in them.


If I had planned ahead, I wouldn't have worn that sweater or drank so much beforehand. I would be smoking filtered cigarettes, not roll up tobacco. I needed to look smart and be on the ball. I wasn't. I was tired and tipsy.

"You can't be stupid to be a hostess," my foreign colleague, obviously having the time of his life, declared.

Indeed not, these girls knew their stuff, as the conversation ping-ponged from European countries visited, cinema, to international marriage, to the Japanese couple, to sex (and lack of between aforementioned Japanese couple), to love, to music! This was hard work and I was struggling to keep up.


My weak whiskey soda is constantly refilled, my straggly roll ups expertly lit, a hand occasionally brushes my knee if my responses begin to lag.

Finally, it is over, we could leave. Money is exchanged. Our two beautiful and vivavious hostesses and mama-san accompany us down to the street in the elevator. "How tall you are!"


"I bet you feel like a king," I teased my colleague as we swayed into a taxi.
"Yes, these ladies are professionals. They do their job well. You can't be stupid to be a hostess."

"Who needs an expensive psychiatrist when you can feel good by drinking, smoking and chatting with beautiful (and untouchable) women?"
With that happy thought in his mind, my colleague rode his bullet train back to Kyoto and home before midnight.

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