I find it a little hard to believe that I'm now twenty three. I realize that 23 is not that old in the grand scheme of things, but it's still interesting to realize that I've been alive for that long. Here's to hoping that 23 is a good year!
There were a few bumps in the road with Saturday night's birthday plans, but I still ended up having a fun weekend. Out of the friends that I invited out for Saturday night, only meepalicious
were free. Then, due to an unfortunate "passenger injury", the Yamanote-sen stopped running for a while and Leslie wasn't able to make it out to Shinjuku. Sadface. So, it was just me and Ali. We started our night by getting food and a couple drinks at a 270 yen izakaya and Ali generously agreed to pay for it as a birthday treat. Then, we went to Ni-chome and ended up at Adezakura, one of my favorite bars there. We got drinks and sat at the bar. We chatted a bit with one of the really cute bartenders and with the girl sitting next to me at the bar. She told us her name was Kou and she also spoke some English. Ali and I debated staying out all night, but she had work in the morning, so we decided not to. By the time we made our decision, I'd already missed my last train, so Ali let me spend the night at her place. Kou left the bar when we did and she was more than a little tipsy. I wasn't wearing my gloves, so she put one of her mittens on one of my hands and grabbed my other hand and stuffed it in her coat pocket. I wasn't really into her (though she seemed like she'd make a nice friend), but it was still a cute gesture. Then, Ali and I went back to her and Franki's apartment so we could get some sleep.
In the morning, I took the train back to my apartment so that I could change clothes and shower (I smelled smoky from the bar) before meeting up with Leslie in Ikebukuro. We started the afternoon with our usual browsing of Otome Road. We made it further than the main strip of Otome Road this time and went in all the different K-Books stores. Clearly we should be shopping there more frequently because their doujinshi store is better organized and more spacious than Mandarake. (It also contains all the Saiyuki doujinshi we were never able to find at the other doujin stores.) Their cosplay store is also pretty nice and even has fitting rooms to let you try on the cosplay.
Then, Leslie and I went to 80+1, a dansou cafe that we hadn't tried before. I think it's definitely going to become our replacement for B.lily-rose (because B.lily-rose closed down right after I left Japan last time). It was a little smaller than B.lily-rose, but it had a cozy atmosphere and the waiter(esse)s were cute and friendly. They seemed a bit nervous when we first arrived and chatted among themselves for a minute before coming over to our table. They were relieved after they learned that we spoke Japanese. Leslie and I ordered our food and we told them that it was my birthday because our waiter asked how old we were. While we were waiting for our food, I noticed that one of the waiters was talking with the waiter who was working in the kitchen and they kept looking over at us. I noticed that the waiter working the kitchen was pretty cute, but didn't think too much else of it. Leslie and I were pleasantly surprised when they brought us our food because the portions were pretty large. In my experience, the portions (especially dessert portions) at theme cafes usually aren't that big. The piece of chocolate cake that I had was about the size of a quarter of a smallish cake. This also happened:( ケーキ )
On our way out of the cafe, the waiter who rang us up asked us where we were going next and we told her Otome Road. She asked us what anime and manga we liked. I started saying "Tiger and Bunny" and before I had even finished she got really excited, ran off, and returned to show me her Kotetsu and Barnaby keychains. We had a moment of squee together. She then walked us out the door and paused to ask me if I'd been in Shinjuku last night. I said that I had been and was a bit confused for a second. She then said that the girl working on the kitchen had recognized me and everything clicked. The cute waiter in the kitchen was the cute bartender from Adezakura! And she recognized me! Omg. The reason they had been looking at us at talking earlier wasn't because we were foreign (which I had assumed because that's the usual reason for people staring at me in Japan). It was because the kitchen girl recognized me from the gay bar. (XD) That's such a random coincidence, but it made my day. We're definitely planning on going back to 80+1. We want to become their gaijin regulars lol.
After that, Leslie and I browsed around Sunshine City for a bit and then we went to take purikura. I was pretty pleased with how cute these purikura were.( ぷりくら )
Not everything turned out as planned, but all in all it was a good birthday. ^_^