So, today's word of the day is: Saikou (最高) which more or less means, the bomb, or the best. Like to give an example, tonight my host mother, her girlfriends and I went to Kento's for drinks and it was Saiko...aka, the best.
I believe that when you can go to a blast-from-the-past gin joint and watch a full band (complete with sax, trumpet and trombone) dressed in zoot suits playing Engrish versions of Super Freak, I Will Survive and Shake Your Bootie under the glow of the mirrorball, you have moved closer to heaven. And when the next band up is a doo-wop group decked out in baby blue 40s suits (their dancer/singer girl in a right-out-of-Grease poofy skirt), with their hair pomade-ed up a mile high like Presley, singing One Fine Day, Ba-ba-ba-bamba and Shake, Rattle and Roll, I think you're there. Such was my experience in a place called Kento's. Evidentally a chain, with locations in Roppongi (where we went), Ginza, Yokohama and Shinjuku, Kento's offers a haven-space for the over the hill crowd, where everyone can pack into a far too small area and dance to the good-old oldies (most, if not all of which are English). Kento's seemed to be a dazzling mixture of both bar/live house/disco, alternately becoming one or the other ever few minutes or so. While the clientele were mostly made up of people over the age of 40, the staff, strangely enough, was quite the opposite. The bar master didn't look a day over 26, and all the waiters (all male but one), were far younger than him. Which I found interesting. The place itself is a small, smoky bar, basically, decorated with old Kellog's and Coca Cola posters from the 50s, and old rusted license plates that read "Too old to Rock and Roll, Too young to Die." There is a constant rotation of music, where the band of the night (or if you're lucky like us, two) come up on the stage (or the step if we're being literal), play about six songs, during which the entirety of the audience (except for me), gets up and boogies, and then the band finishes for a while, allowing the audience to sit down and talk and order more drinks. Perhaps because of the age of the clientele, it was like a club in that everyone gets up to dance and they all go wild, but it wasn't like a club in that you don't have to worry about anyone trying to grab your butt, which is nice. (Though a random guy asked Horita-san, my host mom's friend, for a slow dance!) It would seem that the Kento's in Roppongi usual has the band Scarface (one of tonights' bands) play, and they do mostly disco music. Since my host mom likes disco and motown, they go alot, in fact, they even have point cards. All in all, it was a total blast. While watching Scarface (all older musicians) do the Saturday Night Fever dance was too amusing, I still like the Doo-Wop band better, just because I'm older at heart. And strangely enough, that band was mostly young folks. Very odd.
Before our trip to Kento's, we went to dine at the Akasaka Grand Prince, in a restaurant overlooking the whole of the city from the 40th floor, housing a buffet sporting king crab, filet mignon and flame-cooked foi gras. Oh yes. I love my family. Coming to Japan has bumped me up a few rungs on the social ladder, and I'm not entirely certain I'm going to like being bumped back down again, once I come home. I mean, what am I going to do when I can no longer go shopping for $500 kimonos, eat at 5 star restaurants, hobnob with celebrities (that's another story) or go on weekend trips to far off places. What will I do with myself. I think the only solution is to marry a rich husband. It must be done.