It was 22:30 at the Motown Club in Roppongi, and the crush of the crowd pushed Mariko's breast into Randy's chest. Unable to forego the opportunity, he embraced and warmly kissed her. Smack - and his cheek was burning with the sting of the slap.
"You are a bad boy, Randy", she pronounced, wagging a heavily bejeweled finger at him, She continued, "Kissing in public is not done in Japan."
"Well then, let's go somewhere private", he suggested with a sly leer.
However, Mariko wasn't a pushover, Randy worked hard during pizza and wine time, using his best lines and most winning smiles. Remembering that truthful adage of seduction, 'Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker', the randy rascal plied the young damsel with drink. Lacking originality, yet not effectiveness, this ancient gambit met once again with success. From the curb, they tried in vain for thirty minutes to hail a cab. Mariko explained that fairly often taxi drivers in Tokyo are reluctant to pick up foreigners. Although Randy was indignant and cried "discrimination", his date sympathized with the cabbies' point of view, especially when Randy rolfed on the plush back seat. She paid the fare, plus a hefty guilt tip, refusing to translate the driver's comments, as per the lout's request.
In the early morning hour, the couple strolled hand in hand to Villa Paradiso, the gaijin hostel. Guests were not allowed, so Randy carefully checked the hallways before clandestinely smuggling his prey into his lair. By the time the sun rose, they were an item.
Mariko had Mondays off from her gig at the coffee shop, Randy had Mondays off too, as he was unemployed, They slept late, then dressed and slipped out, Mariko, who at age 22 of course lived with her parents, returned home to shower and then nap for a few hours, Randy bought a copy of the Japan Times from a kiosk, then returned to his room to peruse the "Help Wanted" section.
Wow! There were a lot of jobs being offered for English teachers, It seemed that the minimum salary was 250,000 JPY a month and that the positions fell into one of three main categories: teaching adults at a language school; teaching children at a language school; and teaching businessmen at company classes. Most full-timers were offered aid in obtaining the all-important working visa, All teachers should be native speakers and needed some kind of college degree, but it could be in anything! Randy felt buoyed, With his bogus diploma, he knew he wouldn't starve here at least.
At 5:OO pm that August evening, Mariko was waiting for him at Tony Roma's restaurant in Roppongi while considering her situation, Sure, she had been looking for a boyfriend, but she hadn't really planned on an American, She thought it was exotic and exciting. Her girlfriends would scream when they heard the news, She hoped they would be jealous of her, On the other hand, she worried. It had all happened so fast, What did she really know about this guy? Would they even be able to communicate with her limited English abilities? And what about the cultural differences? Surely, problems yet unrecognized lurked like mines in a field before them, She was tempted to bite a manicured nail.
Randy arrived, cutting a dashing figure with his long blond hair and only suit. What he lacked in funds, he made up for with looks and charm, Mariko decided.
They enjoyed their shrimp and steak, as well as the huge, yet tasty and crispy, onion ring roll. Following dinner, Randy, not surprisingly, offered to escort her back to his room, but she declined. She wasn't in the mood for more of that childish sneaking in and out routine. Besides, let's face it, his digs were shabby.
"Let's go to a love hotel!" was Mariko's solution.
~What's that?" came the befuddled reply.
"Come on. I'll show you." She grabbed his hand and led him to the station.
They exited the train twenty minutes later at Shibuya and then walked another ten to an area where the streets were lined on both sides with many attractive and unique little hotels. Each displayed colorful photos of the accommodations on offer. The pictures not lit up were rooms unavailable due to current occupancy. One establishment boasted a water world of lavish spas, hot tubs, and whirlpools. Another had a medieval look with canopy beds and suits of armor standing around. Others were themed after harems, dungeons, the future, cavemen, the 50's, Las Vegas, and outer space. Most rooms included wide-screen TVs with your choice of soft porn channels, in addition to a complete karaoke system.
Mariko led Randy to her favorite one, Genki Manhattan, easily recognizable by the Statue of Liberty replica on the roof. As they passed the hotel's parking lot, Randy was surprised to see that the license plates of all the parked vehicles had been covered over by the discreet staff to assure customer anonymity, They entered the lobby, but there was no check-in desk or clerk of any kind, Instead, they approached a glass-enclosed display with photos, descriptions and prices of the still available rooms lit up, They selected the Empire Room, which cost 5000 yen for a "rest" of three hours, or 15,000 yen for the night.
Mariko punched in the room's number on a separate vending machine, put the required cash in, and soon a plas- tic key card presented itself. The key unlocked the door leading to the elevator, which they rode to the third floor. Finding the sought after room, they s[id the card into the lock to enter a marvel of luxury. The first things, which struck Randy, were the magnificent lighting displays and an expansive window, which appeared to look down upon the New York skyline from the 200th floor of the World Trade Center. You could see the cars moving and the traffic lights changing. The round bed was posted on a softly glowing, slowly rotating podium, which was actually an aquarium with live tropical fish. A carefree fountain bubbled next to the white baby grand piano in the corner and the refrigerator was well stocked with pay-as-you-go beverages. The bathroom was equally opulent with a four-person tub shaped like a heart and fixtures that looked like real gold,
"This place rocks!" Randy exclaimed with enthusiasm. "I'm just gonna run down to the Family Mart and get a pack of cigarettes, I'll be right back,"
"No, wait! You can't leave and then come back inside," explained Mariko. "Sorry, but that's the way it works " "Well, that sucks!" he pouted,
"Yes, but, on the other hand, so do l," She giggled and winked, He got the message, (TO be continued...)
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