It’s kind of hard to put the last two weeks into words, but I’ll give it my darndest.
I wrote an article you can read over at Taste of Cinema – 20 Great Asian Movies You Probably Haven’t Seen
I’ve received a lot of good feedback on that piece. Now I need to find more cinema-related things to write about for that site, but spare time is somewhat lacking at the moment.
I performed some stand-up at an open mic night in Osaka last week. It was interesting to try and shift back into performance mode after a lengthy break from being on stage. But with every bit, written or improved, you find what works and beat that into submission until it works better than it did. There’s a chance I’ll be performing more material in the coming weeks, so if I have the presence of mind/confidence to record it, I will share it around.
A good portion of this week was spent wearing my invisible yet-oh-so-official tour guide hat and showing some friends from Melbourne around Kyoto.
Many good times were had and many great places were visited.
One sign I had walked past before, but failed to get a photo of due to trying weather conditions, I was able to take a snap of this time around.
I really believe that this sign is perhaps the most blunt and refreshingly honest sign I have encountered in all my time.
One day I’ll go in and actually visit this small museum. I’m kind of hoping that the person that runs it is as straightforward as the sign. I imagine being walked around the small museum while the proprietor points at things and says “That is a painting”, “That’s a rug” and “That’s some old stuff that no-one wanted anymore”. If they did so in a gruff and loud voice it would make the experience all the more worth it.
And while venturing to a new part of Kyoto I hadn’t explored before, I came across this sign. Everyone always asks how to use the traditional Japanese toilets. It’s actually nowhere near as hard as it seems, you just have to work on your squatting technique and you’re golden after a solid hour of practice. But this sign makes it all the more simple to understand.
I like that they even added a tiny poop drawing just so you know exactly where it is supposed to go.
One thing I haven’t said too much about in Kyoto is the incessant soliciting that occurs in the Kiyamachi drinking district.
There are certain areas I go to semi-regularly, not for the reasons outlined above, but for the company of friends. On the way to said locations, I usually pass by all sorts of varieties of solicitation unawares because I am a foreigner. But as soon as people start to realise a pattern emerging in front of them, they’re more game to actually take a stab at getting you to partake in sleazy dealings.
Two recent examples of this stand head and shoulders above anything else I’ve encountered on the streets of Kiyamachi.
Just this week, as a matter of fact, I was walking past a young woman in some variety of Victorian-era-inspired corsetry. While I was casually sauntering past her, she extended her arm out towards me, flyer in hand as she uttered one unmistakable word in English. That word, my friends, was…
I’m a straight male. I like boobs. Women like boobs. Heck, I’ve never met a person who dislikes boobs. But I’m never going to pay for the privilege of staring at a pair of boobs (the only exception to the rule is Buck’s Nights).
A week or two ago this next story happened. There’s a cheap pizza restaurant I frequent some nights after work. On my way there, I pass by a place that falls into the category of “Oh-dear-god-I-can-smell-the-sleaze-from-the-street” and as such, a man stands at the door trying to wrangle aimlessly wandering drunk males. I shall address this man directly for the next section of this post.
Sir, there are many phrases that could be uttered to try and woo men into your establishment. “Cute girls!” is one that could work. “Ladies!” is another. “There are women here!” is not too far out of left field. Heck, even something as obtuse as “The sex?” could win a person over. You can have those tips for free. If this tactic has worked for you in the past, then I can’t help but commend you on persuading idiots to enter and pay to partake in whatever occurs in your sleazy bar.
But if you address men directly by screaming the word “BLOWJOB!” at them, they may well act very much like I did, and laugh uncontrollably and NEVER have any future desire to enter your place of business.
It does, however, make a good story.