2014年3月20日木曜日

鹿児島の歓楽街・Nightlife in Kagoshima

一昨日の夜、二人の友達と一緒に居酒屋に食べに行った。いろいろな初めて食べたものを食べて、いい会話ができた。二人は英語で喋ったので、僕に楽だった。食べ物は全部おいしかったけど、一つの変なものを食べた。それは鳥刺しという。鳥の刺身だ。

ほとんどの日本人も鳥刺しを食べないから、日本人にも変に見えるかも。

「あぶりや 晃房」という居酒屋に行った。狭かったけど、居酒屋の中の狭さは弱みじゃなくて、強みだと思う。雰囲気は親しくて暖かいし。アメリカは似ているところがあると思うけど、行ったことはない。普通は大きいところだろう。

一人の友達は酒を飲むのが好きだから、僕も一緒に少し飲もうとした。食べきれてから、彼は「ほかのところに飲みに行きましょうか?」と聞いた。 彼ははしご酒の経験者で、ほかの友達は飲まなかったので、僕は安心で飲みに行った。普段に酒を飲まないけど、自分の限界を確認して、友達と遊んで、いい写真とビデオを撮りたかったので、初めてのはしご酒をした。









鹿児島は田舎だと呼ばれるけど、オリンピアという僕の故郷よりかなり大きいので、全然田舎の感じがしない。歩いた道はサラリーマンがいっぱいでびっくりした!サラリーレディーもいたみたいだけど。

帰る時間の前、二人のスウェーデン人の男の人と少し喋った。二人は8日間に日本に旅行するんだって。一人はこの旅行は15年ぶりだと言った。少し変だけど、政治や社会問題の話題も出てきた。笑 僕のせいかな。二人は日本の観光を楽しむと嬉しい!


ところで、ほしご酒の経験者の友達は頭がよくてすっぴんの彼女を募集しているので、彼に気になったら、僕を連絡して、紹介してあげます。(^_^)
この経験で、いろいろのことが勉強になった。

1.神戸の大学の友達を作って、飲みに行こうよと言われて、少し飲んでもいいことに気づいた。何の国でも他人と一緒に酒を飲んだら、もっと仲良くなれるけど、特に日本には大事だという感じがする。なぜかと言うと、日本人は普通に本当の自分を見せないけど、居酒屋とかに行って、酒を飲んだら、酔わなくても、互いに打ち解けるだろう。つまり、飲み会に行くのは友達を作って、友達ともっと仲良くなるためだろう。もちろん、酒を飲まなくてもいいけど、相手と飲んだら、同じ経験をして、相手に信頼される感じがする。

2.一人で居酒屋に行くのは難しいけど、いい勉強になると思う。あぶり屋のメニューを見たら、何の食べ物があるのか分からなかったので、友達に任せた。一人で行ったら、スマホを持っていかなくてはいけないだろう。

3.鹿児島は田舎ではありません。

4.酔っぱらっても、性格はあまり変わらない。しかし、やっぱり勇気が出るんだな。酒やビールは英語で「liquid courage」という。「液体の勇気」という意味。笑 僕の勇気が出たので、もっといい写真とビデオを撮れるようになった。



***

Two nights ago I went out to an izakaya with a couple of friends to eat and have a good time. (An izakaya is essentially a restaurant that Japanese go to to eat and drink alcohol, normally as a group.) My friends spoke in English, so I was able to relax. I tried many different foods for the first time, but perhaps the strangest was what is called "torisashi", otherwise known as "tori no sashimi", otherwise known as "raw chicken". Most Japanese don't eat raw chicken, so it probably seems strange even to most Japanese.

We went to an izakaya named Aburiya Koubou. It was small, but rather than a weakness, I see its size as a strength. It makes for a warm and intimate atmosphere. Most izakayas tend to be small, although there are large ones as well. I suppose there may be similar kinds of places in the US, but I've never been to any. American places tend to be bigger. In the video above, you might not notice that there is a bit more seating on a second floor, but otherwise what you see is what you get.

One of my friends enjoys drinking, so after we were done eating, he invited me and my other friend to go someplace else to drink some more. Since he is an experienced bar-hopper and my other friend didn't drink anything, I was able to go without worrying about anything. Usually I don't drink alcohol, but I wanted to test my limits, hang out with my friends, and take some good pictures and videos, so I went for it.

Kagoshima is called a rural area (inaka) by most other Japanese people, but seeing as how it is much larger than my hometown of Olympia, I can hardly call it rural. If I were to compare it to another city in the US, I'd say it's closer in size to Tacoma, Washington or San Antonio, Texas. I was surprised by the amount of office workers (otherwise known as "salarymen" in Japanese) while I walked along the street.

Before going back home, we met a couple of Swedish guys and had a short conversation. The two of them said they were traveling around Japan for eight days. One says that it was his first vacation in 15 years! It might seem strange, but we ended up talking about politics and social issues. (;^_^) Maybe that was my fault? Anyway, I hope they have a good time in Japan!

I learned a lot from this experience.

1. I realized that if friends in Kobe ask me to go out drinking with them, I can drink a little without any effects. Drinking alcohol together with others brings people together in most any country, but I think it has particular importance in Japan. If you asked why, I'd say it's because although Japanese people tend to be closely guarded most of the time, when they go out together and drink at an izakaya, they will let down their guard and open up. That's true even if they don't get drunk. You can see it as a designated setting for making friends and getting to know each other more. Of course, it's okay to refrain from alcohol, but I think people who drink tend not to trust those that don't drink so easily.

2. Going to an izakaya alone might be difficult, but it would be a good learning experience. When I looked at Aburiya's menu, I couldn't tell what kind of food they had (no pictures), so I had to have my friends order for me. If I go alone, then I'll need to take my trusty smartphone with me to look up the words.

3. Kagoshima is not a rural area.

4. I don't change much when I get drunk. I was a bit more brave, though. That's to that good old liquid courage, I was able to take some pictures and videos that I might not otherwise have taken. If you're interested in seeing me drunk, I posted a video above with me jabbering on. It's boring, but maybe some people might find it interesting.
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