I am currently writing this with Kanye West VH1 Storytellers playing in my ears. Unfortunately, this particular coffee shop in Shinjuku has an obsession with the music of The Beatles. I simply can’t stomach Strawberry Fields one more time today...
Has it really been almost 6 months since I wrote a blog post? How time flies...
So much has happened in that time. Firstly, I underwent surgery on my spine in August. I took a tumble whilst skiing in Hakuba last year and ended up with a prolapsed disc. L4/L5. The eight months of chronic pain that followed the accident were like nothing that I had ever experienced before. Not even Endone would touch the pain.
However, when I woke up in Recovery post-surgery, the pain was gone. I could feel my right leg again. I’m delighted to report that I’ve been pain-free ever since.
Secondly, I was offered a new position in Sydney, commencing in January 2017. It will be a completely new challenge for me, and one that I’m looking forward to. I am quite apprehensive though- I know 2.5 people in the whole city. My family and closest friends are all in Queensland. I’ve only been to Sydney a handful of times in my life. I can cope on my own quite comfortably for a short period of time, but I’m not sure how I’ll go long term. I also wonder if I’m a little too old to be essentially starting my life from scratch all over again. It also doesn’t feel real yet. I don’t think it will until late February when I’m pining for my old colleagues, my friends and family.
Back to (non-Beatles) music for a second. My little sister and I regularly swap song titles. One song that she introduced to me last week has become a firm favourite of mine. I would encourage everyone to stop what you’re doing, head to Officeworks and buy a few 8GB USB sticks. Transfer your 20 or so favourite songs and give them to your closest pals as a gift from the heart.
I once did this for my boss. It all started when he and I were driving to a meeting in his car. He turned the key in the ignition, and what should emerge from his car stereo? The Corrs. Good Lord.
It was at this point that I knew that he needed help. An intervention, if you will.
The next day, I conspired with his wife to get hold of his car keys. I snuck into his car, ejected the CD of The Corrs, and inserted a CD that I had prepared the night before. It was comprised mostly of 50 Cent and Kanye. I turned the volume up very loud, locked the car and nipped off to replace the keys in their usual spot.
Half an hour later, all hell broke loose after said leader was spotted heading towards his car, keys in hand. The second that the ignition was engaged, I could hear the thumping bass at the start of “Golddigga”.
Next came a bellow of “MISCHA!!!”
I casually wandered down. “Yes, did you need something?”
“You bloody changed my CD, now where is it? I can’t drive while this shit is on.”
“That’s right, blame the blonde. Blame the female.”
At which point, the CD came flying out the car window like a frisbee. Some people are so ungrateful.
I can’t describe how lovely it is to be back in Japan again. On Monday I had the pleasure of meeting three girls who work as escorts in Tokyo and internationally. I was nervous going into our meeting, as I had never met another escort before in my life. I’m happy to just stick to my tiny business model of six(ish) clients, and let the professional girls do their thing. Besides, my time as an escort is finite. If I should meet someone amazing, ‘Mischa’ will be sent on a very long vacation. Yes, I will definitely miss the friends that I have made, but in the end, one must look at the bigger picture.
Anna, Hana and Yuma were absolutely lovely. Despite our very different backgrounds and experiences, we got on brilliantly and many laughs were had. It was almost unfortunate that two of us had to leave to attend bookings, otherwise I’m sure that we could have stayed all night.
In the unlikely event that there are any other Australian escorts reading this, Japan is definitely not a minefield to make money. In order to compete, you will be charging less that your Australian rate. It is the busiest period of the year for the Japanese at the moment. The majority of my work here has been infrequent and more surprisingly... platonic.
Earlier in the week, I had enjoyed a casual beer with a Tokyo-based journalist who has lived in many different parts of the world. When I considered his age, I felt like a real underachiever. He told me about some of the stories involving the sex industry that he had covered in his homeland. He also casually mentioned that the next day would be a big day as Putin would be in Tokyo.
After we said goodbye, I messaged the Tokyo girls:
Me: “Prepare yourselves, Putin is in town tomorrow!”
Anna: “I’m gonna hide under my blanket.”
Hana: “Hahaha! When is your wedding to him, Mischa?”
In other news from Japan, I’ve taken up swimming. I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t actually swum laps of a pool since I was in high school. However, I’m pretty sure that an important guy that I know in Australia does laps before work. I assume that it must somehow prepare his mind for a busy day in the office. I’ve actually suffered from short periods of anxiety lately, and I thought that swimming might be worth a try. The closest Olympic-sized, heated, pool is only one train stop away from Shinjuku. However, there are soooo many rules. No tattoos, no makeup. Wearing a swimming cap is compulsory, as is wearing a bathing suit that reaches down to your knees (for women). You must purchase a pass on your way in the front door and display it in the glass panel of your locker. If you fail to do this, your locker will not lock. You must wear your locker key on your wrist while swimming in the pool. You must shower twice- once naked, once in your swimsuit. No plastic hand paddles are permitted. No diving of any sort- use the stairs. Flippers are ok, provided that they do not extend more than 10 centimeters from the end of your toes.
The first day was nerve-wracking as I strode out to the pool, pretending that everyone wasn’t staring at the exceedingly voluptuous caucasian chick. Just when I thought that I had everything covered, a lifeguard came running over with a roll of tape. No. I had forgotten to remove my small pearl stud earrings. They had to be taped over.
I’m sticking with the swimming though. I generally (and lazily) place myself in the ‘beginners’ lane. This allows me to plod along at a sedate and thoughtful pace. Right next the the ‘beginners’ lane is the ‘walking lane’. Yes, as the name suggests, one popular activity here is literally walking laps of the pool. It’s not just the oldies who are into it either.
While Japan never gets old for me, there is true joy in introducing parts of Tokyo to people that have never experienced it before. I remember grinning like a loon when I took my little sister to the Shibuya ‘Scramble’ crossing one night last year. She was just captivated. I’m hoping that I will get the chance to see such amazement on someone’s face again at some point in the future.
My new Mac Book Pro continues to baffle me at times. I am still blaming Windows 10 for the death of my three-year-old Toshiba. While outrageously expensive, I do like the compact size of the Mac. However, I fear that it’s going to take at least another month to get fully acquainted. I can’t move items around as easily, some things are back to front and I definitely do not understand how the touch pad operates.
I’m working on a ‘changes’ list for 2017. Essentially, it is a list of New Years Resolutions, just less flippant. I’ll share once I’m done. Please feel free to steal any of my ideas or add suggestions.
Now to leave you with something that I heard again recently: “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
Try to find some time to take care of yourself over the festive season.