January 22, 2009

Enquiring minds want to know.

For those of you who just can't get through the checkout line in the supermarket without buying or at the very least glossing through the latest gossip rag I have succumbed to the recent Memeterview that has been meandering from blog to blog. How could I not? When someone as insightful, zany and fun as Lime makes an offer to interview you; it's just as if Brando had made it. And awwaaaaaay we go...

1. What took you to Japan and what has kept you there?

Well, I guess I can tell the truth since the statute of limitations has run out...Just joking.
In all honesty I just got sick and tired of all the bullshit that constantly surrounds you in New York, yet there is one event that added one, if not the final, proverbial straw.
Before I left the city I was a bartender/ night manager of the Border Cafe. A Tex-Mex restaurant on Broadway and 105 st. in Manhattan. It was a nasty place to work. The owner was always dodging one supplier or another to avoid paying his bills. The staff, all really good people, would always be a little nervous around Friday cuz we weren't sure we were getting paid. I busted my ass in that place and turned it from a dog tired restaurant filled with cheap- skate losers into a real hopping bar with live music every week, happy hour and a football pool. Any girl who came in and donated a bra she had was wearing at the time drank for free. (Gimme a break. I was 25 fer chrissake.) We tacked up the bras and some baseball hats that were donated by some customers above the bar and made the place look fun.
The thing put an end to the party and caused me to finally throw in the towel was the Owner's girlfriend. She worked behind the bar two or three times a week, but was completely useless. Mr. Boss man would sit at the end of the bar and they would incessantly bicker about everything, and I mean everything! One night, after a heated argument, she walked off in a huff and when she came back a couple of hours later I told her to fuck off. I said I didn't need a bitch who shafts me by leaving me stranded on a Friday night. I think I called her a fat bitch and it really ticked her off. At the time I didn't give two shits.
I had been dealing with all kinds of scumbags. I'd had knives pulled on me. I was forced to cajole competing coke dealers into putting their pieces in brown paper bags which I kept under the bar while they were drinking or I wouldn't serve them. I had to be a bouncer as well 'cuz the boss was too cheap to hire a doorman. I hated that. It was the most distasteful part of the business. Then there were usual fuckers who would try to skip out on a bill or stiff you on a huge tab.
So I called her a bitch and I lost my job- I lost my patience as well.

Two months later I was in Japan!

Now the fact that in eighteen years I have only seen a handful of fights, and I can count the ones I have been involved in on one hand, is reason enough to stay in this place, but aside from that; it is the constant puzzlement I receive from an adventure in a place so diametrically opposed to the city of my birth. Just click on anything in my archives to see what I mean.

I'll tackle the next question in a few days time.


lime said...

wow, the answer to the first question is certainly quite a story. i am very much looking forward to the next one. thanks so much for joining in.

Anonymous said...

Of course, in some ways New York is like a whole different country, too.

Mona said...

wow! did the owner kick you so hard that you actually flew & landed in Japan?

What a kick!

Is that what 'misplaced' you?

leelee said...

I want to know how you got involved in education from being a bartener/night manager.

I wonder if Lime included that as well...

just thinkin' out loud.


NYD said...

Lime~ So am I! You are quite welcome.

Citizen~ New York is New York and it7s different from the entire universe. I will always consider it my home town. I can't go for long without a dirty water dog or an Italian ice.

Mona~ One day I will dicuss the reasons why I named my blog what I did, but for the time being let's just say that the paltry human that employed me could never force me to do anything.

Leelee~ She didn't ask that, but to tell the truth I was initially a bartender here for quite some time. The teaching was initially part time and only because I was a native speaker. It's been a long road learning my trade as I am sure you can understand, but I love what I do and I have gotten pretty good at it. It's even better than serving drinks!

Kurt said...

New York is all Duane Reades and Stabuckses now. You couldn't find danger even if you tried.

K9 said...

really interesting. its always the last straw thing -usually not an isolated event but the final one of many. im on this meme too - i am on #2. like you, the questions were so hard i could only do one at a time.

i have never lived anywhere so culturally different and i think it would be a great adventure. i have read some of yours and ive always enjoyed that you have such a great sense of humor about it all.

looking forward to the next question.

Ming the Merciless said...

Well, your NYC is quite different from mine in that (1) I never worked in a bar, (2) I move here after college over 10 years ago, and (3) By then, Times Square had turned into Disneyland.

I guess if I grew up here, I won't be as happy either. Don't get me wrong, NYC is a tough SOB place to survive but it is oh, so vibrant and exciting.

That said, Flushing was busy yesterday. I was there for lunch and the place was packed. But most of the festivities are shelved to next weekend. I plan to go out there to take some more photos.

Stay tuned.

The Grunt said...

That's a great story. However, I think the real reason you moved to Japan was a chance to make it big at the Hello Kitty corporation.

whimsical brainpan said...

I'm glad Lime asked this question. I have always wondered why you moved.

Megan said...

I've lost jobs before, but I've never moved to Japan afterwards.

Almost as interesting as what you did say is what you didn't say...


Mona said...

Your Indian teacher Friend is lying. Mumbai is NOT 80% Slums!

Mayden' s Voyage said...

Umm- you know North Carolina was only an hour away by plane...and Johnston county is like a whole other world (lol- local joke). But I certainly do understand the allure (sp?) of an exotic land.
Sometimes Florida is pretty exotic- if you can get past the Rat in the middle :)
I really enjoyed reading this, and if I had been old enough to be in NYC at your bar- I'd have given up the undergarment for a free night of drinking... maybe :)