“Work’s over” “School’s done” “It’s about that time” …“Time to get up”
From all over Tokyo; whether male, female, black, white, office worker, part time cashier, student, or lawyer – people came. After appointments, long days at the office, or after a long nap in the comfort of their own apartment, 7:30 marked the time to arrive at the place to be – Las Chicas in Aoyama.
Rarely in Tokyo do the classes openly mix. Of course you can walk into a bar and find that the clientele come from all parts of the globe and from varied backgrounds, but rarely are they in the same group.
Last Friday, a mixture of all types came together to enjoy a Black Professionals Tokyo Monthly Cocktail Hour.
It is a new day in the world. Not that a new piece of legislation has been introduced, or a new declaration made from on high. This new day has come without any declarations; without any forced decrees. It is an unspoken declaration that has been communicated from person to person since early November. That comminucae was to hope, to believe, and to have faith in your fellow man, and in yourself.
I arrived at 7:15, sat at the bar, and asked if there was an open table for 8. I was told there was and waited at the bar until other’s arrived. Cocktail hours are usually stand-up events, or if the turnout is low, we sit at a table and decompress from a week’s work by telling stories (both true and tall), making fun of something or other (all in good fun of course), and welcoming all new-comers with classic tales of life in Japan.
Whether you want to talk shop; have a venture you’re wanting to get feedback on, or you’re one of the more reflective, philosophical types who wants to talk about life, experiences, and feelings of identity in a foreign land, or you just want to find a job and get paid – there is room for you here.
And you don’t have to be black. You don’t even have to be professional. Though the name sounds like a private club for African American Salarymen, all we can say in our defense, was that the name sounded good at the time. But what is in a name? Barack Obama? – yeah, if you had told me 5 years ago that someone with that name would be the next President of THE United States of America, I would have thought you were crazy. Not only that, I know some of my friends from high-school back in Virginia would have been preparing to pack for Mexico or Canada.
But regardless of this name, we are simply a group of people who want to connect people with each other; and provide all people with a place to go; to get out of the rat-race, meet others, and feel good about life.
It seems that now in our world people are now unafraid to mix with each other. They feel more comfortable accepting what has been in their hearts all along – the desire to make friends, meet different people, join in the merriment of the person next to you, and see them as your friend and comrade in this long journey called life.
We had our largest turn-out: 40+ professionals and just regular folks, from Missouri to Kenya, from the grandparents of Polish immigrants, to the future parents of American immigrants from Japan, we came together, we ate together, shared in our stories; our ideas for expanding our businesses; and our feelings about our lives in Japan.
We only had 8 people RSVP, and in the end we wound up taking over more than half of the restaurant. In our defense all I can say is that you have to “bring” the party because there is no guarantee that the party will come to you.
Next month we meet to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day (two weeks early, but better early than never) at Paddy Foley’s in Roppongi. We all hope to see you there.