|LIFE IN JAPAN
Time in Japan:
Where are you from?
What brought you to Japan?
What is it about Japanese women?
I' been asking myself and I just don't know. I dated a few when I was still living in
Spain and one of them brought me here.
What did you do when you first arrived?
I got a job as a bartender in Roppongi. It's in my blood because everyone in my family
owns or manages bars. I remember my father smacked me in the face and made me get behind
the bar counter when I was seven years old, so basically I was sort of bartending since
then. My first job was washing cups and glasses.
How long have you had Cafe Ole?
Two years now.
Tell us about the place.
It's a bar where I make people happy as much as I can. I make everyone happy by providing
all kinds of services. For example, if someone wants to play cards, I'll play cards with
them; if someone wants to get drunk, I have plenty of booze; if they want to hear funky
music, I have "The Funky Chicken." Cafe Ole is a Spanish bar. Many people think
a Spanish bar is full of flamenco dancers, Gaudi art and so on. But a bar in Spain looks
just like this, so I want people to know that.
Wasn't it hard opening up a bar in Tokyo?
Tell me about it!
What did you have to do?
Lie. About everything
Where do you go first?
It's really complicated and a very long struggle. You need to acquire and submit five
licenses. The first one is a license that says you are allowed to serve food and drinks
and that you are the main person responsible. This is my favorite one because it's a
Lucifer red color. The second license is the one you get from the Department of
Sanitation. The third is from the fire department. The fourth is the one you get from the
police. You have to tell them you are running a bar and not a club. They might ask why
people are dancing and you just tell them that they are drunk. They give you an after
hours license. The fifth and last one is the contract you make with the landlord. It's
really tough in the beginning. I had to do so many things my head was spinning. But once
you finish, no one will bother you as long as you pay your taxes.
What's the best thing about Cafe Ole?
The great atmosphere based on the people that come. I'm a living witness to the characters
that come here and they are all very, very interesting. There are no bad people here-maybe
because I'm right near a police box, I don't know-everyone is really nice.
What are you planning to do for New Year's Eve?
Well, my bar will be open and hopefully it'll be packed with the Y2K-Proof New Year's Eve
Bash, but right before the clock strikes 12, I'm going to sneak up to the roof because
it's romantic, maybe with a girl, and have a cigarette. I don't know which girl yet but I
still have six days to find one. Cafe Ole is Y2K-proof so I'm planning on not having any
problems. I just bought a new smoke machine, so hopefully I'll get that working for New
What do you like about Japan?
I like the Japanese female theme. 360 degrees female theme.
What was your weirdest experience in Japan?
One time, four of my friends and I were drunk and we were all riding on one scooter. The
police came and shoved us in their police car. Then, suddenly, one of my friends puked. It
was like a chain reaction because then all of us puked, one by one, inside the car. The
police stopped the car, threw us out and started hitting and kicking us, then just left us
there on the street. It was weird and unbelievable because I thought this was against the
law, I wanted to sue them but, you know, they're the police, so...
How do you lead a happy life in Japan?
Everyone should define their own happiness so, for me, I just know I know nothing.
Contact Miguel (after 8:30pm) at Cafe Ole: 03-3200-2249 or see www.cafeolebar.com
Miguel Angel spoke to TC Editorial Team.
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