As the eternally daft Ted "Theodore" Logan, (portrayed by Keanu Reeves in what was arguably his most convincing performance to date), uttered in Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey, "Strange things are afoot at the Circle K."
Since I have never come across Circle K anywhere but here in Japan (remember, I haven't yet travelled to the States), I tend to use this as a metaphor for those times I stumble across the completely unexplainable here, which is usually several times a day.
And last night was no different.
Strange things were definitely afoot at the Circle K when my entourage and I arrived at Oasis around 1am to find a Japanese girl sleeping soundly in the lounge chair opposite the entrance. The music was pumping, the crowd was jumping, the bar was thumping and she was...sleeping. She even emitted a loud snorting type of snore at one point, almost as if to assure us she wasn't just drunkenly dozing, she was in fact headed towards REM at full throttle.
"What?? She was sleeping??" I can hear you saying to yourselves. "And the staff just let her?" you continue.
Yes and Yes.
This isn't an isolated incident I'm frustrated to say. Any club you go to in Japan is guaranteed to have a line of sleeping patrons clogging the entrance/exit. Normally this odd phenonemon doesn't occur until around 3am. So the discovery of this girl at what I can only call the beginning of the night (hell I didn't leave the house until 12.30) was even more irritating than usual.
It grates my nerves for an abundance of reasons, mainly that if you are that flipping tired, especially in the case of Sleeping Snorty last night because it was still so, so early, STAY HOME! Or in the case of the nightclub narcoleptics, GO HOME! Or go sleep in an alley way, there's plenty of 'em - this is Japan for Buddha's sake, no-one is going to mug you (err....says the girl who got....mugged a month ago....but that was a highly abnormal situation).
Don't give me that tired excuse "Oh but the trains aren't running until 5am" or "a taxi will cost me too much." Leave by last train, or bring enough money to cover your ride home. Don't try and justify it to me this way, because you are talking to someone who will happily spare any expense to get home and sleep soundly in her own bed. When I get to that point in the evening/morning when I want to sleep, I couldn't think of anything worse than dropping off on a bar stool with one hand on my cassis tonic and my hair in an ashtray. I just want to get home, and get home the quickest way possible.
I also see this terrible habit as an insult to the DJs playing. It is just plain rude. If you can't keep your eyes open a second longer, at least tuck yourself away somewhere a little less inconspicuous than the entrance, or plant yourself where you won't get in the way of the rest of us who are there to socialise.
In all my travels around the world, I have never come across any other country that tolerates what I have termed Nightclub Narcolepsy. I find it strange that the managers and owners of the clubs here don't comprehend that it looks bad for business, especially to foreigners. One of my first clubbing experiences in Osaka was at Vinyl (RIP) and I distinctly recall not wanting to go in upon spotting the sleeping bodies draped along the long, corridor entrance. It didn't give me a good feeling about paying a cover charge (maybe the music was that bad) and it also lowered the energy levels of the space dramatically. I also became very reluctant to go there at any time in the end.
It is inevitable that I come across these cherry clubbers on a weekly basis. My instant reaction is to kick them awake, round them up and send them on their way. Well it would be if it was my club (Freeza didn't stand for it!). At the very least, I'd ask them to leave once the first morning trains had started to run.
As for Sleeping Snorty last night, I got some prized photos of her catching zzz's, head lolled back, eyes half open and all. And who knew the flash on my camera was so strong as to jolt somebody back into the waking world when held 3 inches from their face?