Today promised to be something of a long day at work, with rehearsals for ‘Hamlet’ sandwiched between the screening of a documentary and a Rakugo performance at the theatre. The documentary was all about the Kadori sisters (twin sisters who, as singers, worked their way up through dire poverty and hardships in the hard early years of post-war Japan), and thankfully there were many photographs to supplement the 10% that I actually understood. The Rakugo was due to start at seven, and annoyingly rehearsals finished at just gone three, meaning that I had a few hours to kill, as it would have been pointless (and very expensive) to have gone back home. Thankfully there is a Gusto ‘Family Restaurant’ with a ‘drinks bar’ near the theatre, and so for only ¥355 (~£2.90) I was able to sit and read for a couple of hours, whilst thoroughly investigating the true extent of the phrase ‘unlimited refills’.
The Rakugo performance started at just gone seven, and it was precisely three minutes later that the industrial quantities of coffee that I had consumed caught up with me. I knew that I would never be able to last until the interval, but I felt confident that I could hold out until one of the brief respites between the different acts. Unfortunately the gentleman next to me turned to me during the first of these breaks and asked me if, as a foreigner, I understood what was going on. Not wishing to arouse suspicion that I was sitting on a ticking bomb I made the mistake of engaging him in conversation, thus missing my opportunity for a clean get away. About twenty minutes into the next act I decided that getting up from my seat (which was of course in the dead centre of a block of people) was infinitely preferable to wetting myself, and so I half ran/half fell out of the auditorium and into the toilets. My relief was indescribable, and as well as saving myself from a toddler-esque embarrassment, I had learnt a very important lesson: two litres of coffee and a bladder the size of a walnut does not a happy couple make.