The human angle tends to think that it rests on individuals to guide their lights and steer their darkened places. In my axiom, we are merely tools already programmed like automated machines. The deceit of it all is the feeling that we reserve the inherent ability to change course.

Ladies clad in half bikinis, one clutched a pole on the stage, turned into a snake, came with heads down and splintered into hind legs. As soon as she left, another replaced her but first, dusted the pole with a white towel. When she was done with cleaning, she threw the hand towel on the face of a waiter that stood by. The waiter caught the towel in mid-air, placed it on a tray…smiling. The waiter wore a black suit with white shirt, a pair of black shoe and a purple colored tie. At every time a pole dancer descended, a voice from the music stand announced, her stage name, skills, age, nationality and whatever she could do…which included private dance.

Sited at table #5 were men from Russia. They drank draft beer but one of them concentrated on ‘Gin-back'. The Gin-back guy had three glasses, two filled with Gin-back and one with iced water. They must have bargained to pay hourly. Intermittently, one of the Russians stood up and approached the bar.

"May I have your bill, please?" said the Russian.

"Are you living now?" asked the Floor man.

"No, but I want to know how much I've spent."

An American sat with a Brazilian lady on table #8. Soon, a Hungarian joined the Brazilian and after a while, a Russian was thrown in, completing a triangle. The American ordered Champagne Rose. The Floor man proceeded to let the air out of the bottle before the customer could change his mind. He knelt down, held the champagne on his palm, the bottom of the champagne rested on a folded white handkerchief as he poured four glasses. As soon as the Floor man returned the champagne bottle to its bucket, the ladies sang in unison; "Ice, Please."

The Floor man took three glasses of champagne away and after seconds, returned the glasses filled with ginger ale, each contained an ice for effect. As the American man consumed some Champagne, the ladies wasted theirs, replaced with ginger ale. The drink soon caught up with the American…he ordered private dance for half an hour and was matched by the three ladies to a curtained off room. Half an hour extended to a whole night accompanied with frequent replacement of Champagne Rose and much later, Don Perignon. The waiter showed the original through the segregated curtain but opened cheaper champagne. He will not pay cash. The General Manager had taken his credit card.

North Koreans sat in table #4, all by themselves…without nightingale ladies. They watched proceedings going on at the pole. All entreaties to supply the North Koreans with women failed. They ordered and drank champagne in glasses and with regular flow. Ready to live, policemen were called in. They complained that the bill was too high. They could not pay. Africans incharge kept them standing by the elevator until police officers arrived, took their submissions and booked them in.

Malaysians came in and agreed on "drink-as-you-like" two hour pay for men only. Six Malays, three men accompanied by three ladies sat down for a night treat. Location was table #1. The men got their first serve of draft beer and paid for extra three for the ladies. The second serve was as good as the first--three for men and paid three drafts for ladies. The men took the third round and exchanged their mugs with the empties from the ladies. The waiter noticed, made them see that he noticed and they offered tips. To continue the night, one of them called the Floor man aside;

"I hope you can give the ladies more drink, please," said the Malay…letting some Ringgit into the Floor man's palm.

"Not our rules", replied the Floor man, pocketing the tip offered by the Malay.

A handsome Italian caught through online ‘fishing' by one of the club ladies came and after nursing two glasses of Cuba libre, quietly excused himself and left.

A cream of Naval SEALS from Yokosuka base probably on holidays stormed in, ordered ladies before they accepted towels to wipe their hands. When all the ‘boys' had their requests satisfied, a lady with them protested for not having a partner. She called the Floor man to present her anger.

"Why are all the blokes wired except me?"

"How do you mean, "Wired"?"

"I'm the only person sitting without a lady," she accused the Floor man.

The Floor man smiled, "how can I provide for you sis?"

"Make it one with large boobs," requested the lady from Naval base.

The Floor man winked and a Russian sat with her. Soon, she mounted the pole to show her theatrics and the Naval Base lady watched intensively.

I ordered Jiegamaster and two ladies joined me. I got my supply. The ladies ordered same for a start. And so, we made it three Jiegamaster shots except that the two ladies had coca cola on their shots while I sent down real Jiegermaster from my mouth to my throat…down to my stomach. I called for second round but when I ordered the third, one of the ladies suggested we all go for B52. I obliged her wish. Obviously, they wanted me to be bombed out, to lose control. Without prodding, I ordered Don Perignon, paid cash, had it served but gave the General Manager a standing instruction that it should never be opened, not even when I get drunk. I backed my submission with the notion that I'll not request to be refunded money paid for De Don. Don Perignon gave me attention and kept the ladies by my side till morning came.

I graduated from B52 to China Blue. I have always liked this version. Set a Rock Glass; bring a bottle of DITA, some Grapefruit and Blue Curacao. Measuring three of your fingers on the rock glass, pour out DITA and three fingers of Grapefruit, then build-up {steer}. Add drops of Blue Curacao and you got yourself China Blue.

As we drank, attitudes continued on the stage. Men laid face up, Yen note stuck in their lips. The pole dancer jiggled, came down slowly on her stomach and pinched off the money with her cupped up milk industry. As she did that, one of her hands travelled to his pants zip and all the merry makers cheered…with greater cheering coming from ladies of same stock as the pole dancer.

Night gave way to morning and I decided to leave. It was time to give away the champagne and I left it for the house with shouts of AYE as if we were in British House of Commons. It was time to forget and move on, to walk away from all these and open a new chapter. Downstairs, I saw the American leaving with the trio, the Brazilian, the Hungarian and the Russian. Obviously they were not headed home like me. They must have a breakfast of ‘yakiniku' first. Because the man was not placing his steps well enough, I thought he was more suited for a taxi to take him home or to his lodging but it was none of my business. As I crossed the road headed to the train station, I heard one of the ladies helping steady the American say to him, "come on baby."

I headed home. Inside the train, I met a foreigner that told me he's been locked up before by Japan immigration for three years.

"What was your offence?" I inquired.

"I entered a country that is not my country with another country's passport that I'm no member."

"For that they sent you in for three years?" I asked.

"Yes, but that's past, that's not the problem now."

"What's the problem now?"

"I've been in prison for six years after my release by Japan immigration," said the Foreigner.

"How?" I asked…confused.

"My wife placed me in her own prison. For the past six years I spend all I earn from working day and night and yet, it's not enough."

"Why don't you quit?" I asked in anger.

"Quit the country or the marriage?"

"Both…if you like."

"If I quit the country, where should I head, Nigeria?"

I did not answer.

"If I quit the marriage, I marry from same people again…."

I slept before he could finish. When I woke, he was no longer sitting by my side or in the train.

It was then that I decided what to do with my money; that dug up money in my bag left securely in a lock at the train station closest to my home.

*** To be concluded next week…

Patrick Nwadike wrote in from Tokyo.