January 26th, 1991
First time in Japan! The hotel is very cool and minimalist looking and the bed consists of a thin mattress, perched on a wooden platform, raised only inches off the floor. The bathroom is outfitted entirely in white marble and is by far, the nicest bathroom I’ve ever been in.
At Narita airport, Emilio got mobbed by a bunch of Japanese schoolgirls who mistook him for Michael J. Fox! They chased him through the terminal, all the way outside the airport doors, pushing an array of items into his hands, all for his autograph! Being the Hollywood star he is, he obliged. Sorry Perfect Penny, you just officially lost the race for the Oscar!
Because it’s also Emilio’s first time here, we agreed to meet up with most of our crew in the hopes of experiencing something new but after a short bus journey into town, we ended up in The Red Lion, where sadly some of the crew went so far as to order pie and chips. Ugh!
Sensing our disappointment, Sally suggested Emilio and I go to The Truck, which neither of us had heard of, so she pointed us in the direction of the shuttle bus and off we trod. A short while later, in perfect English, the bus driver announced, “The Truck.” We thanked him as we stepped tentatively off the bus into what was essentially the parking lot of the Ana Hotel. Vehicles were flying by on the adjacent motorway and I was quite sure we were in the wrong place. I was about to say so when Emilio pointed to a container, sitting at the other end of the parking lot, the type of which you’d find attached to a long-distance lorry.
“Listen,” he said, holding his hand to his ear.
“Aye, and singing. Karaoke by the sounds of it,” he said, with a mock shudder. “Seems the Virgin Atlantic crew are already there,” I laughed.
Inside, we squeezed our way to the bar, recognizing a few familiar crew faces, before quickly downing a couple of shots of tequila, prompting Emilio to suggest we sing.
“I am not getting up there,” I stated, quite vehemently.
“Aye, you are,” he chuckled. “C’mon it’ll be a laugh.”
“What’re we singing?” the all too familiar voice said. I spun around to see Ben, sporting his signature grin, looking not at all unattractive. Feeling shocked (slight understatement) I stuttered, “Fancy meeting you here,” which sounded absolutely ridiculous and made me blush.
“And you,” Ben smirked, kissing my cheek.
“Ben, this is Emilio,” I said, trying not to react to the light kick Emilio gave my ankle, no doubt letting me know he knew exactly who Ben was!
“Hello mate,” Ben said, nodding confidently in Emilio’s direction. “So, Karen,” Ben continued, turning to me. “What should we sing?”
“Ehm,” I croaked, feeling totally flustered. “Whatever you want.”
“Sweet Dreams?” he suggested.
“Yeah, ok,” I nodded, trying not to react to another of Emilio’s not so gentle kicks to my ankle.
“Emilio,” I said, stressing his name. “Will you sing with us?”
“Nah,” he said, shaking his head. “I think the two of you will be better off doing it together.”
I gave him “a look,” that he responded to by tapping his foot against mine, then I tried to ignore the lascivious manner in which he slowly ran his tongue over his lips.
“Stop it!” I hissed, through gritted teeth, trying not to laugh.
“Get up there and show us how it’s done,” Emilio chuckled, just as Ben grabbed my hand and led me to the makeshift stage.
“Sweet dreams are made of this, who am I to disagree? I travel the world and the seven seas, everybody’s looking for something.”
Oh, what a night!