So the day after finding out I had lost money I was kind of miserable. I really didn't want to do anything. Convincing myself to get out though, I walked to a little area that was pretty cool near where I am staying. I looked at a few things and then decided to watch X-Men (which was pretty good by the way).
First off this theater was
weird. The box office is down on the ground floor and open to the
street much like those in the U.S. But unlike the U.S. the Japanese do
not build out, they build up. So much that a store will feel tiny even
though it is actually an 8 story building. It feels small because each
floor is small, there are just a lot of them. This is way different from
the U.S. where we like huge football stadium sized stores with one or
two floors. So this theater, you buy your ticket on the street and have
to go up to either the seventh or eighth floor depending on which screen
your movie is playing.
For some reason that I cannot figure
out I actually had to wait four hours for the next showing. That too is
different than in the U.S. At least for an average sized theater, I
don't remember ever having to wait more that an hour and a half for the
next showing even if I got there right as the previous one was starting.
I suppose maybe I could understand if it was a movie that was already
on its way out of the theater, but something as big as X-Men? Very
weird. So anyways I walked around for a bit and then with two hours left
I went up to the movie to wait. Again, usually in the U.S. this is
perfectly normal. If you have a long wait for your movie usually you can
sit around in the theater playing games or sometimes even eating at a
restaurant inside the theater. Not at this one though. Not knowing that I
went up to the lobby and was met by absolute deafening silence. I felt
like I was in a library except for the occasional muffled explosion that
could be heard through the walls. On top of that there was absolutely
nothing to do in there. It was so odd that I was there in fact that one
of the ushers came up to me and reminded me my movie wasn't starting for
two hours and asked, "You stay here?" Which I kind of shrugged in a way
that said, "I have nothing better to do." So there I sat in absolute
silence waiting for my movie to start. This particular theater also
seemed to have a lot of Japanese animated movies. I don't know what
that was all about. Anyways when it finally came time for me to go sit
in the theater no one was there. It was kind of nice though. But in true
Japanese fashion, about 10 minutes or less before the movie started it
was like every single person who bought tickets came in at once. The
Japanese are insanely punctual. In fact the only people who were early
So after waiting around for eternity and then
watching a fairly long movie, I got out of the theater around 11:30pm.
When I got out there was already the usual crowds of drunk people
walking around. There was also a cool impromptu street performance that I
recorded and will show later. But I was still feeling down about losing
the money. After the street performance I didn't really just want to go
back to my room so I sat around doing what I usually do and just
watched people go about their drunken business around me.
am sitting there, I see a girl go stumbling past me hardly able to walk
in the slight platform shoes that still didn't make her taller than
maybe 5' 2". I kind of laughed to myself and didn't think much of it.
But then it hit me that she was alone and really drunk. After leaning
against a tree for a minute she stood up again and began stumbling off. I
watched her for a few moments. As she was crossing the street a guy
came up to her and tried grabbing her and putting his arms around her.
She clearly did not know him and pushed him away.
Now let me stop right there for a moment to give you an idea of what was
going through my head. For one thing here is a young, very attractive
girl who is drunk out of her senses, alone at night and is being grabbed
by men she clearly does not wish to be grabbed by. My upbringing tells
me to do one thing, and that is to help. I was not raised to sit idly by
while a woman needs any sort of help. However I am a foreigner. So what
if she gets angry that I am the 4th or 5th guy trying to talk to her on
her way to wherever she is trying to stumble towards? In her state she
probably wouldn't be able to tell that I was the one guy actually
concerned for her, regardless of whether she could understand me. I have
heard that usually when foreigners get in any sort of situation with
cops that involves a Japanese person, regardless if it was the Japanese
person's fault the foreigner is still seen as making trouble. So then,
what if I had to tell a guy to leave her be and he gets angry?
So allow me to summarize my dilemma. On one hand I have a conscience
and a strong sense of upholding a woman's honor. On the other if it were
to go wrong, it would either look like I was trying to pick her up and
take advantage of her, or look like I picked a fight with a random
Japanese guy. So what the hell do I do?
Anyways that's my state of mind as I
am watching her cross the street. It took me a bit but my conscience got
the better of me and I threw caution to the wind. (Not without a few
"You're a dumb ass Alex," echoing in my mind) So I got up and hit a no
walking sign at the cross walk. I was losing sight of her! I couldn't
live with myself wondering if she was safe. It doesn't matter whether
this girl was pretty, ugly, old, or young, I could not imagine her being
put in an unfavorable situation in the state she was in. If she was
sober or even slightly less drunk then fine, she could make whatever
decision she wanted to. But there was no way she was going to be able to
make any decisions this particular night, right or wrong, not with how
much she had to drink.
Finally the crosswalk sign turns green
and I run a bit to try and find her. It took me a few minutes but
finally I caught up with her and said, "Sumimasen(excuse me)... Ma'am
are you okay?" She looked at me a little bit surprised. I made sure not
to even come close to her in fear of scaring her. Then she kind of
smiled and stopped walking. She mumbled something and told me she wanted
to speak English with me... Whatever, all I cared about was that she
stopped for me and I could work on getting her a cab. I asked her, "Do
you want me to call you a cab? Or do you have a friend I can call for
you?" I had completely forgotten my phone does not work in Japan and
even if it did work, I don't speak Japanese. Then she pulled out her
pink girly phone and said something to the effect of, "I can't... the
technology not good." After pondering this for a bit and consulting
ancient manuscripts, star charts, and sumerian artifacts to help me
figure out the puzzle that had just come from her mouth, I figured out
what she was trying to say is that her battery was dead! Damn... Robert
Langdon from "The DaVinci Code" has nothing on me.
Then one of
the things I feared most happened... Two Japanese guys walked up and
one addressed her directly in Japanese looking quite stern...and this guy
was big too. Not only by Japanese standards either. I was like, "Oh shit
here we go, he thinks I'm trying to take advantage of her." But then
she gets really close to me and grabs my arm! I have no clue what's
going on at this point because here this girl is clinging to me and they
are both speaking really fast Japanese. I can't even catch any words I
do understand. Then she starts pointing to a yellow sign also in
Japanese. I just start looking at the guy trying to explain I am trying
to help her, not hurt her, while also trying to make it clear not to
mess with her. (He had been drinking too and she clearly did not know
him.) Then he says to me, also in broken English but a hell of a lot better than the encrypted code she was speaking, "She wants to drink with you up there."
Oh what the hell did I get myself into...? I mean, don't get me wrong, this girl was stunningly beautiful, but I really didn't want to deal with her in that way knowing how much she had to drink. So I told the guy, "No no, I am trying to help her get home safe. She has drank too much and guys have been trying to grab her. Help me call her a cab." All this while she's still hanging onto me makes me look like I'm telling all sorts of lies. So he tells me, "I was going to try and take her home too." (He meant his home...) But before I can say anything else she grabs my hand and starts pulling me towards the place she clearly has her mind set on going saying, "Cheap cheap." Not knowing where the hell she was taking me in the first place, I have no idea what this part of the code was supposed to mean. Then the two guys start laughing because I'm clearly bewildered and they start telling her they will take her up there with them. So of course I am stuck going wherever in the hell they were going because she doesn't even realize they are following her! All she had her mind set on was dragging me to whatever this place was and speaking English with me. She had to continually ask the Japanese guys why they were there in the first place because she kept forgetting.
So here I am sitting in what turns out to be a little izakaya with a girl who is completely intoxicated and 2 Japanese guys who are truthful enough to say that they had the wrong intentions in mind for her. It was like a chess game... I couldn't make too careless of a move so as to offend anyone, but I couldn't let my guard down or they would make a bad decision.
Though when you look at it, some of the best people are the ones who are on the verge of making the wrong decision. Such was the case with these guys. After making it known that there was no way I was allowing her to go home with them (I would rather them get her number and her make that decision after a good night's sleep) they bought me a drink and bought us all some sort of Japanese beef stew. All 4 of us actually had a really good time and it turned into all 3 of us looking out for this girl's well-being. Throughout the night we convinced her to call a friend to at least let someone know she was safe and we all had a long conversation in very broken but well-intentioned English.
Finally we all agreed she should stop drinking (I had agreed on that from the minute I saw her but the three of them did not) and we headed to the elevator. Once we step outside, immediately some random Japanese guy comes up to her. At this point we are all in her corner so all of us are taken by surprise and try to interrupt him thinking he was a random drunk guy. But she assured us this was her boyfriend and went to him. The weird part is how he reacted. I mean, your girlfriend come out with 3 random guys you have never met before, one of them being a foreigner, how would you react? In the U.S. it would have gone down quite differently. Here though people don't like to cause a scene. So he actually asked us where we were from and what we were doing. I guess he kind of understood that at least I was looking out for her, but still I would have been pissed.
Anyways my question is, where the hell was he when she was stumbling around being grabbed by random men in the first place? I can't lie, it would have been nice to have found out she didn't have a boyfriend and perhaps struck up a conversation the next day over dinner or something. But even more disappointing than finding out she has a boyfriend is finding out she has a boyfriend who clearly wasn't too concerned to look out for her. Some people just get to me. I don't pretend to know their situation but... that bugs me. Anyways I just hope that she appreciates and fully grasps that I helped her. At the very least, I hope that's a new drop in the Karma bucket for me.