Tuesday, 5 August 2014

My Body Clock is Broken

So it's 4am on the second night of the JET Tokyo orientation, and although I am exhausted in both mind and body, I have so much left over nervous energy that I can't rest. And also both of my roommates are sleep talking. With a strange amount of broken Japanese thrown in. I swear one of them is having Nam flashbacks. As I am unable to join them in their overly-active dreams, I figured writing this would smooth out some tension and I could slip off into blissful slumber.

The orientation has mainly just been disorientating. There is just a river of names and places and hometowns, next to none of which I have any hope of remembering. I seem to catch myself telling the same stories to the same people because I've forgotten who I've told them to before. They are either just as disorientated as I am, or are too polite to tell me to shut up.

I have managed to pluck a few names and faces from the torrent, all of which have been nice enough to pretend my jokes are funny and aid my speech when sleep deprivation has gotten the better of my sentence construction. This evening we struck out from the hotel into Shinjuku with the hope of grabbing a few drinks. As my mother said the other day, there are some times when only beer can quench your thirst.* No one had any clue where we were going and the humidity was getting to everyone. Group relations became frayed, factions formed, leaders rose and fell. I think someone started crying. One group settled on somewhere where you had to buy a salad or something to get a drink. A restaurant basically.

A hardy few travellers soldiered on until we stumbled upon a basement bar that I don't think had been stumbled upon in many years. 1920's jazz played in the corner, followed shortly by a beauty and the beast cover. The bar was empty except for a bar maid and waiter who spoke no English and had a collective age of 140. We managed to order beer, sake filled to the brim, and Shōchū with the help of a woman in a Kimono that came to our rescue. They even brought over complimentary nuts and buttered toast. I don't know if it's the jet lag induced lack of sleep (pun intended), but I'm starting to think I dreamed the whole thing. I'll go back tomorrow and it won't be there. Anyway, my roommates have finally shut up, so I should probably take the chance and grab some shut eye. Oyasuminasai

*Disclaimer: My mother will read this and tell me off for making her sound like an alcoholic, so I'm preempting her panic - she rarely drinks at all, and when she does it's usually a half... or a gin and tonic.

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