Plátano Power And Supporting the Arts

Plátano Power And Supporting the Arts

I haven’t really given much of an update because I don’t have much to report. After months of averaging three day work weeks, my last few weeks have been extremely busy. I have had a day and night class almost every night for the last two weeks. I even worked this past Saturday and Sunday. Nevertheless, I’ve still managed to squeeze in some fun these last few weekends. Both of them were very different and each had their own theme.

October 5-7

Last Friday I had a date with Sake Master (date number 2) in Akihabara. I had an assignment there and he met me afterwards. We went to this really cool restaurant. It served traditional Japanese food from a certain Prefecture, but I can’t remember which one. We spent hours talking and laughing. At 22h, I decided it was bedtime. We said our goodbyes, meaning he gave me a handshake. There’s not a big hugging culture here so I guess that’s the next best thing. It just feels weird though. Just wave to me like everyone else does.

Maach Ecute where Sake Master and I ate dinner

Anyway, Saturday, I awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed. My Dominican friend and I had big plans. We had plans to go to an empanada festival hosted by the Dominican Embassy and some other Latin American organizations. While I didn’t expect Calle Ocho, I was at least hoping for some Dominican style empanadas, raisins and all, since the embassy was one of the sponsors. The festival had Peruvian, Argentinian, and Colombian style empanadas, all of which were very tasty. A Peruvian both sold arroz con leche, but they sold out before we could purchase some.

There was a random five minute break in the program; so, the Dominican emcee played bachata. I immediately went to dance because he was looking for a partner. However, he found one before I got to him. Therefore, I pulled my shy Dominican friend out to dance with me. She seemed mortified, but I’m sure she secretly loved it.

Once we had our fill of random musical acts, we headed to the bakery next to the train station to satisfy our sugar cravings. We sat down for the first time all afternoon. We sipped on coffee and tea while enjoying our sweets.

Afterwards, I originally planned to go home and nap, but DoD invited me to Saturday mass with him. After Mass we quickly said our goodbyes and headed our separate ways. He had a date and I needed to go home and change. I rushed home, showered, changed, downed some miso soup and bread (I had no time for to cook and that was the only prepared food I had in my refrigerator). In an hour I was back out the door, back on my way to Roppongi (that’s where the church was). Where was my destination? El Café Latino. I was finally going dancing.

I could have relaxed at home a bit longer, but Camera Man would be at the nightclub and I told him I was going as well. The only problem is that he leaves early so he can catch his last train home. Since he lives in Saitama Prefecture, his last train from Tokyo is earlier because he travels farther. The night club was so much fun. I’m not sure why I have been wasting time at other places. This is by far the best Latin club in Tokyo. A really great crowd, good music, great dancers, AND Dominicans! Yep! There is a Dominican kid that works there and he told me that he had a group of friends coming later in the evening.

The Dominicans arrived sometime after midnight and immediately adopted me into their group. The group consisted of about 6 guys and one girl, but they were all fun-loving and great dancers. At first I dragged them onto the dance floor when a Tipico song played and none of the six invited me to dance. Soon, I never sat down, changing partners for each song. I loved the international presence at El Cafe Latino. I also loved that as the night progressed, more and more Dominican music played (Dembow and Tipico). At times, I felt like I was at a club in Miami, not at all in Tokyo.

Before I knew it, it was 5h30 and the trains were in full operation. The Dominicans kept claiming it was too early, but the trains were running and I had a date on Sunday. I gave them every imaginable excuse as to why I had to leave, and finally, I slipped away semi unnoticed. I almost didn’t want to leave because they were playing a killer old school Reggaeton set, but I had a 50 minute trip home ahead of me.

On my way home, I helped an elderly man with a bum leg in a wheelchair over a sidewalk curb. I regret not asking him where he was going and offering to take him to his destination. At 6h30 not a soul was in sight.

Sunday I somehow managed to wake up at a reasonable hour and make it in time for my date with Wolf on Wall Street. This was our fourth date in a span of 4 months and the absolute last. He is a really sweet man, but he’s way too busy. I know I keep saying this, but I can’t keep dragging it out. We went to a beautiful garden (I told him I wanted to do something different than a boring dinner date). I mentioned visiting a garden, and he thoughtfully researched one. He chose one of the most popular gardens in Tokyo, famed for its beauty. It was so peaceful and a nice afternoon place to visit. I really enjoyed it, especially since it was also his first time visiting the garden.

Rikugien Garden in Komagome


Monday was a holiday and DoD offered to take me to the exchange on base. Of course I jumped at the opportunity to restock on feminine toiletries and buy platanos. I ended up with more than I anticipate, most of which was Latin foods (beans, tortillas, platains, cholula). I also finally got some non natural deodorant so I finally don’t have to walk around Tokyo with BO. At the supermarket, we ran into DoD’s friends who kindly invited us to their house for dinner.

We drank wine, I played that dancing video game with their adorable 5 year old daughter, and ate delicious pizza and wings. His friends are really wonderful, and I definitely stole the wife and made her my new friend. She’s also Hispanic and wants to come dancing with me.

Overall it was a fantastic weekend, mostly because it’s the most Dominican I’ve felt in a while.

October 13-15

Friday night was filled with visions of studying Japanese. I had a long week at work, working days and nights everyday. The best part of the week was my reward at the end of each day. I was teaching a night class every day in Akihabara. In Akihabara there is a fantastic mini cheesecake shop, Pablo, that I discovered with a friend a few weeks after moving to Japan. If you ever come visit me, make sure I take you there. Instead of studying, my Friday night consisted of binge watching Orange, an adorable 13 episode anime.

How amazing do these cheesecakes look? They are absolutely delicious.

Saturday I taught a morning make up class. Afterwards, I met Sake Master in Kanda for lunch. He took me to a famous soba shop, where the lady chants the orders to the kitchen it the rhythm of old Japanese poetry. After lunch, we walked around the old Kanda neighborhood and grabbed coffee at a dated, yet delicious coffee shop.

Cool traditional Japanese building in Kanda

Saturday night, Owl and I went to see Sweeny Todd. A friend of his was acting in the play and we went to support him. Plus, I absolutely love musicals and had never seen this particular production, either on stage or on film. The show was excellent, and right afterwards, Owl and I gave our congratulations and went home. We were both exhausted from long days and pre-show red wine. Plus, we both scheduled to work Sunday.

Sunday, I worked all afternoon. After work, Owl and I went to a concert. I told him about it on Saturday and he was interested checking it out. ZEZE-HAHA is the awesome band I discovered in June. As usual, their show was fantastic, and they were happy to see me. I really need to learn their lyrics. Owl and I left immediately after the show ended because he had an incredibly early day ahead of him.

The two past weekends were really wonderful. This weekend plans include visiting Nikko with some friends. I’m looking forward to seeing Kouyo, or the autumn leaves. It’s the first Kouyo sightseeing this year. Tokyo’s Kouyo season starts in Mid-November.

I wanted to finish this post before bedtime, and I did. Goodnight everyone!


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