Saturday Night Fever

I don’t normally go to discos in Japan primarily because they are very expensive. In Manila, 700 yen is all you need to enter a good disco but here, you’d spend close to 3,500 yen. Well, you shouldn’t be surprised. This is Japan… the most expensive place in the world.

But on Saturday, two Japanese (S and T), a Thai (P) and a Tanzanian (IN), introduced me to the wonderful yet expensive world of Japanese discos. Well actually, it was S we were introducing because it was her first time ever but because it was my first time in Kagoshima, I also consider myself a newbie. I didn’t say first time in Japan because I’ve already been to a disco in Fukuoka.

I already have my idea of what Japanese discos look like based on what I see on TV. I would imagine Japanese discos to be filled with fluffy girls doing the “Para-Para”.

For those who are not familiar with the “Para-Para”, it is a modern dance step native to Japan. The dance is characterized by repeatedly moving left and right with your arms doing most of the work. Friends told me that an important feature of “Para-Para” is that the dancer should sport a serious face, i.e. no smiling.

I was also expecting to see a lot of “salary men”, the Japanese term for what we would normally call company employees. In Japan, they’re just everywhere.

And there we were at “ON AIR”. What I previously thought was a radio station turned out to be one of the more popular disco places in Kagoshima. First impressions? Small, small and small.

Not that I have a problem with small discos but I was just not used to small discos mostly because I’m used to the big disco places of Manila. I would like to avoid comparing “ON AIR” with the ones I’ve been to in Manila but man, “ON AIR” is really small. But that shouldn’t prevent us from enjoying. And sure enough, it didn’t.

Contrary to what I expected, there weren’t much fluffy girls and salary men. Instead, there were English teachers… a constant reminder that Japan is probably the world’s biggest employer of English teachers, most of which are from the States, Australia, England or Canada.

After around 30 minutes in “ON AIR”, I came to the realization that it is not so bad after all… being small and all. Actually, having a small disco does has its advantages. For one thing, if you are determined enough, it is possible to bump into everybody else.

I wasn’t in the mood for meeting new people then so I just contend myself with the company of my friends. Besides, of the four friends I have with me that night, it was only S who I already met beforehand. The rest, I only met that day or to be more specific, that night.

The entrance fee entitles us to two drinks of our choice and there were several tables available for those who need to take a break from non-stop dancing. There are also several pretty disco “employees” who are more than willing to show you “the moves”. All in all, “ON AIR” is a cozy place to go to for having a good time.

Not that I’m advertising the place or anything but if anyone from “ON AIR” is actually reading this, I wouldn’t mind receiving some advertiser’s money. 🙂


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