And into the veins of a drinking district so complexly overwhelming in its simplicity, I began my search. First, to the ex-pat bars, riddled with cultural controversy and meat-market monopoly; where varrying degrees of travelers and local residents share kompais over beer and Shochu.
But, I didn't find the answer there. No one ever does. That's precisely what gives us all the drive to go to these places: this knowledge that we will never have to confront, never have to bump heads with an answer, a meaning. Only questions, hypotheses and rantings.
Pepper House is a stellar example. A narrow bar with posters of Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, and red, yellow and green adornments painted behind meaningless, plastic marijuana plants. In the bathroom there is a mirror directly infront of the squat toilet. If you are a man, you see your dick. If you are a woman, you see your face framed by your knees. The atmosphere varies night to night, and year to year. Sometimes, it's a cacaphonous, all-gaijin-governed karaoke session. Sometimes, it's just snack-bar, Phillipina girl gossip before work. Sometimes, it's local business owners creating new advertisements and discussing the industry. Sometimes, a place for salary dudes to meet roll-overs from other realms and display their own rented beauties. Often, it's just a healthy, multi-national meat-market competition - everyone looking for some action (sooner rather than later) -
But, in the end, the best lesson plan I found there, was between my knees, in the mirror.
Should have known that my first, instinctual lesson idea was the best....