Tuesday, July 15, 2003

More BC Street

I can't believe all the hits I have been getting recently concerning BC Street
on Okinawa. For those of you not paying attention it was a street outside
an Air Force base that catered to lonely and horny GI's by playing host
to a bunch of clubs that featured Phillipina dancers and "hotels" where
you could pay $20 to get laid by a Japanese prostitute. I never did
understand why the dancers were almost all Phillipinas and the prostitutes
were Okinawan. I mean, I was told by my friends who patronized them
that the prostitutes were Okinawan.

But I am not writing today to talk about prostitutes. I am going to tell
you about Club Florida and the banana show. Yes, if you are thinking
what I think you are thinking then the banana show is exactly
what you think it is.

I only witnessed the banana show twice in my two years on Okinawa.
The first time was in my first week there and the second time was over
a year later when I took someone there who was dying to see it and
asked me to take him since I knew my way around the island.

BC Street was always fascinating to me. The names of the clubs were
great. They all tried for double entendre's or attempted to sound like exotic
or, like Club Florida, exotic and familiar. One of hotels was even called
Hotel Peace.

Walking up to Club Florida we could first hear the barker outside before
we even saw the garish vertical neon sign. He was an Okinawan gentleman
who was probably about 35 and he would chant "Banana! Banana! Banana!"
at the passing drunks. We entered.

Club Florida was like all the other clubs that featured dancers. It had cheap red
couches, Christmas lights, cheap paper reflective material hanging in strips from
the front of the stage, smudged mirrors on the back of the stage but it didn't have
one of those titty bar poles.

The banana show lady was an Okinawan women who was on the far side of
forty looked like she may have been beautiful once. Her show started with
pretty basic erotic dancing and a striptease. She eventually stripped down and
motioned to the crowd to throw quarters on stage. GI's would reach into their
pockets and toss a few dolars worth of change onto the stage. She would gather
these quarters up and place a stack about three inches high on the top of
a tall bottle of Japanese beer. She would then
stand over the bottle and its awaiting pile of coins.

Awaiting what? you may ask. Tune in tomorrow, dear friends.

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