Thursday, June 08, 2006

A safe haven in a frightening locale - part one!

About a month ago, some friends I have made from an computer-graphics interest group decided to get together for a little bar-hopping in Shinjuku. I've "talked" to them through email for about a year, learning the quirks and personalities they all have. I met a few of the ones who live in northern california last year when I was up visiting my friends and family before I left for Japan.

At that time, I hadn't been on the list for very long, so just to be on the safe side, I brought my dad along with me. You know, you hear scary stories about "those internet people!".
They turned out not to be scary at all, but kind, friendly and funny, and ...

"Jeez, a couple of those guys were SO NERDY!" said dad after dinner.

Coming from dad, that's really something. Possibly a high compliment. As you can imagine, the whole dinner party got along just fine.^^

Anyways, seeing as how the california set of the CGJIG-ers (computer graphics japan interest group) were good people, I had no qualms about meeting up with some new friends in Tokyo. I had actually tried to go out with them before, but only one person from the list came. He was french. He brought two French friends. They didn't speak English. ... here's how the evening's conversation went:

Me: "Hello, I'm Kyra. Are you Florian?"
Florian. "Yes, nice to meet you. er... do you speak french?"
Me: "not really... um um, I mean, je n'parlez-pas le francais!... how was that?"
Florian: *laughing* (in french -> "")
Me: "okay.. um, nihongo ha daijyobu desu ka?"
Florian:"oh! daijyobu desu yo!!"

And then the rest of the evening we spoke japanese. That must have seemed pretty weird to any japanese by-standers. ^_^

BUT ANYWAYS, as for a month ago, I was supposed to meet Matt and his coworkers from Polygon Pictures.
(I wonder if it's ok to put real people's names on this blog? Maybe if it ever gets big I'll revise it, but I don't think it's in real danger of that anytime soon. )
From his emails he seemed to be a native english speaker. Besides that and the time and place we were supposed to meet, I didn't really know anything about him.
By the time me and my japanese girl-friend I was bringing along met up in front of the east exit, I realized: "Crap. Its's really crowded. And I forgot to bring his cell number."

I naively figured I wouldn't have any trouble finding a foreigner amongst all the japanese urbanites. Oh silly Kyra, don't you know there are TONS of foreigners in Shinjuku?
About fifteen minutes after the appointed meeting time, my friend was a bit worried. "Do you know what he looks like?" She said. I had to admit I didn't.
"Why don't you call him?"

(eep!...please don't make me answer that!!)

"Sure, why don't I do that..." I said, and pulled out my phone. I didn't have Matt's number, but I still had Florian's. I dialed it hopefully, thinking maybe he could get it off the list somehow...but alas, no answer. Crap. "No answer", I said, a little guiltily.
"Is that him?" she asked, pointing at a lone foreigner.
Yeah, better check it out.

"Are you Matt?"
"No." (oops! we backed away slowly) "Sorry to have bothered you"...
"Its ok. I'm waiting for my girlfriend." (oops. OOPS! We backed away quickly. And then we turned around and ran.)
"Kyra, that guy who's not Matt is looking at us and winking!"

Right then, the real Matt showed up.

part two next time!


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