World Champs, Day 6, When the morning comes...


Dear readers,

There is a song by one of my favorite songwriters, Jesse Colin Young, called, " When the Morning comes", this would have been an appropriate title for my evening.

In the spirit of giving many of my readers a first hand experience of night life in Osaka, I became a satyr for an evening of bachnalian fun. If some of my older readers remember Goteborg, and my experience at the rave, well, this should give you a bit of my experiences last night. At the age of 48, however, this type of evening will probably not be repeated, at least until Sunday night, before my departure... I hope that you enjoy the spirit with which this is shared..

August 30, 2007
11th IAAF World Championships
Osaka, Japan


A tour of Osaka's night life, first hand experiences are the best....

Last evening began innocently enough. After finishing my writing for the day about 11.45 pm, I headed over, by taxi to the Hilton. There are restaurants nearby that are open until five in the morning. I was a bit tired. So, I found a little restaurant, open late that had good service, lighting service by American standards, and inexpensive food.

I had a cobb salad, a Kirin beer, a bowl of miso soup. The salad had a significant amount of seafood on it and was great. I spent the time speaking with some of my friends on the various television crews from Sweden and Italy.

As I was leaving. I was accosted by several friends from Japan and the US, who shall remain nameless, to protect their clean living. They informed me that I was going with them to a bar called Murphys, located in a more colorful section of Osaka, where night life can be found in all of its complexity, with many different services offered at various price points. As part of my editorial research for today's column, I decided to join said search for the Irish watering hole.

First, the challenges. In a section of town where the taxis outnumber the insects, no one a) spoke English, b) knew where Murphy's was. After  bit of a search, and a very accommodating driver took us to the aforementioned neighborhood. I believe, though, when three Gajun (foreigners) and one Japanese gentleman got in his car, he was concerned that he might be robbed. That was not the case.

We were dropped in the neighborhood of colorful night life, and began to see, and meet many women, who were spending an inordinate amount of time on street corners. The streets and alleys in this area are quite small, and as we went from street to street, we met a young Japanese women, who knew where Murphy's was and was so polite as to escort us to the establishment. To our best estimation, she had been returning from some late night employment.

Murphy's was on the second floor of a non-descript building. The building is owned by an Irish gentleman who lived in Japan for 13 years. About seven years ago, the owner and his Japanese wife moved to Ireland to start a Japanese school. Since the Irish gentleman owned the aforementioned drinking establishment, and since it had become an important place for ex-patrioted Irish, English, Americans and other fascinating types, and was profitable, the Irish gentleman sent his younger brother to mind the bar for a few months. Seven years later, the younger brother was there, as was his girlfriend and a nice pint of Guinness was being poured.

This evening, there were members of a few World Championship teams, various footwear company representatives and various members of the media enjoying
a) a pint of liquid that is cold, dark and refreshing, b) Irish football, c) attempted acts of communication between men and women, some successful, some failed.

The revelry lasted into the wee hours. During this time, there were two toasts for the late Mike Long of Elite racing, who would have loved this joint. In MIke's honor, there might have been several shots of Jagermeister and small glasses of Guinness consumed. During the four to five hours of revelry, there was a superb disc jockey, from a footwear company that has three stripes on its logo. This disc jockey, who shared the same nationality as the origin of the bar owner, played such a mix to include Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison, Yes and Curtis Mayfield's soundtrack from Superfly, the movie. To say the musical selections were eclectic, would be an understatement.

About 4.30 in the morning, as part of some additional editorial research, a young American ex-patriot, who is teaching in Osaka offered us a tour of some lesser known establishments. The young teacher, who we shall call, Emily, had with her two gentleman of American and Irish persuasions who, would provide not only good company, but comfort and aid, if needed during our travel to the new establishment.

The crowd at Murphys left the bar, and walked to the new establishment, a metal bar, with the charming name  of b-trip, for bad trip. The bar, located in the basement of  an even more obscure building than the Irish drinking palace that had been visited earlier in the evening.

The bar was dark, all painted black inside. A dj was spinning everything from Bon Jovi to Nirvana to Rage Against the machine. The bar patrons, mostly Japanese, were decorated with tattoos of some color and various meaning. These patrons mostly had t shirts with English sayings that might not really translate, for example,
"Color Not Well".

In the new establishment, b-trip, our group of revelers enjoyed some music, re hydrated ourselves and one, by one, started to return to the land of the living.
This writer left with a meet director/agent/raconteur, and was shocked to find a) sunlight, b) he had left his computer in most recent bar. Finding his computer,
this writer found a cab, showed him the business card for his Japanese business hotel, and when the taxi driver acknowledged the destination, this writer said, " Ni" and proceeded to close his eyes, until he returned to the quiet confines of his hotel.

A night of research done, the writer called his son, who shared that he had just purchased an aquarium and some fish and then went off to sleep, hoping to wake up for an interview later in the morning...but for now, as Goethe would say, ah, sweet sleep...

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