The idea came up when I was meeting my Korean friend and her mum after a year at Shinjuku for a dinner at some touristy Japanese restaurant called “Don Chin Kan”. Things were fine until we decided to head off to another place for some drinks. Not willing to give in to chain izakaya shops, we wandered quite some time and a “catch” (some promoters of izakaya roaming around the streets trying to pull customers) approached us, revealing to us some very delicious looking food and drink for what seemed like reasonable price. Being a veteran, I of course asked about prices and if there were table charges, minimum orders etc. Everything seemed fine, and we headed to the building elevator to reach for the 4th floor as depicted on the promotion broacher. This was when the “catch” insisted on bringing us to the 5th floor instead, claiming that the 4th is fully occupied.
We were greeted by a totally different menu with super pricey stuff, and were told that the table charge will be 750 yen per person. I got furious and started to yell at the waiter with whatever that came into my mind and condemned their ill strategy in getting customers. Of course we left the shop and settled down in a Korean restaurant for our drinking session. I was told by my Korean friend and her mom that I was so scary just now, with my mustache, crew cut and piercings and that I can qualify to be a gangster any day they said.
It actually felt quite good when I unleash my anger for the first time in years, with such a rude manner, especially to someone who tried to con us into paying a fortune just for a 1 hour drinking session. It felt weird but it certainly felt good that moment, and it was this feeling of satisfaction that got me thinking about trying to be a badass, gangster dickhead for one week, and make it one of my plunge diary entries.
Day 1: I started light, by not greeting people, purposefully turning my head away from the people I know and not saying thank you to the professor after class and not holding the doors open for others. Nothing went wrong and things got on as usual.
Day 2: I decided to step up the game and display anger whenever I feel even slightly irritated. So it was almost 3rd period of school and I am waiting in line for the next train at Takadanobaba station. Train arrived and people started boarding. The kind of people that irritates me the most are those who are at the front most of the waiting line, get in the train, but refuse to move into the middle of the compartment and instead standing right beside the door. Most probably they are hoping for a smooth exit at the next station. (Come on, you don’t get to board first and exit first, you don’t get the best of both worlds!) So there was this guy who did exactly this, and I just threw in 「ちょっと、入れないからもっと中に詰めてもらえる？」(which means, hey, it’s impossible to get in, can you squeeze inside a bit) in an unfriendly manner. Sure enough he obeyed and nothing went wrong. No fist fights etc.
Day 3: It was January 18th and a huge line was in front of TenDon Tenya, the tempura restaurant near Waseda’s Bunkyan. Yes, it was the monthly Tenya-no-hi, where everyone can have a delicious TenDon for only 390 yen (サンキュー :Thank you, get it? Haha) instead of the normal 500yen + tax. Not a big deal but was looking for lunch anyway, so I joined in the line and waited to be seated. Not long after the waitress called me in to sit on a bench inside the restaurant as it was cold outside. “Yay the next one is gonna be me!” I thought to myself. And right in front of my eye the waitress guided 2 customers, who were behind me, to their seats. Normally I would understand because the two-seaters were best for the customers waiting in two, but for this project, I stood up and fired away. Eventually one of the counter seats emptied up and I got to have my 390 TenDon, and the chef gave me a service tempura for “upsetting” me at the beginning.
Day 4: To be honest, I was starting to feel mentally stressed about carrying on this project of mine, but I decided to give it one last shot. Today’s episode was in “Ootoya” Restaurant at Takadanobaba station. Exhausted after a day’s lectures, I decided to eat out that day instead of cooking. Even though it was a weekday evening, there was a queue of 3 people in front of the restaurant. The restaurant was full and busy, and I decided to lay my oversized coat and bag on the chair facing the alley in such a way that it would block the passage for the waiters. With the Japanese being Japanese, I was told nothing and the poor waiters squeezed through again and again through the narrow passage way blocked by my belongings. My order of charcoal grilled chicken and salad came and I decided to screw my waiter up midway, claiming that parts of the chicken were still uncooked, in a rude manner. “Moushiwake gozaimasen” was repeated a gazillion times and a fresh serving of the meal was served!!
There was no Day 5 because I really needed to stop doing this as I started to feel really guilty, especially when I ill-treat an innocent person hasn’t done anything wrong. I cannot deny the fact that I have received complementary services and free meals that I would not receive otherwise, but I figured out this was not the way I want to live. These experiences reminded me about how I felt when there were dickheads at my part time job, and the brilliantly made television commercial starring Takayuki Yamada, with the catch phrase “この世界は 誰かの仕事で出来ている。”(The world is made up of someone’s job)