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While cleaning up my work-office-at-home, I found a few memories that challenge a neat and tidy filing.

The purpose of these cards slipped under my hotel room door in Osaka Japan is obvious even if you don’t read the language.

I had asked my client in Osaka to choose a “Japanese business man’s hotel” for me rather than one of the big American chains. While the room was quite small, it seemed adequate and, best of all, it was well away from the major thoroughfares so I was looking forward to a quiet evening in my room as I started to adjust to the local time. I looked forward to some boring TV that I would not be able to understand while I ate the take away bento from the market across the street.

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It started at 6:00PM.

There would be a knock on my hotel room door. But when I got up and peered out through the looking glass, the hallway would be empty. It wasn’t until I looked down that I noticed the card that had been slid under the door.

After three or four repetitions, I started ignoring the knock and just continued my dinner as I flipped the TV between baseball sports reports I could not understand, sumo wrestling which was a lot like the baseball with lots of preparation but “the action” is then over in seconds, and TV game shows always with giggly, girlish escorts for the participants who would apparently fail at something and then undergo some masochistic penalty stunt.

Over the course of the evening I built up a nice collection of these cards which I could not read but whose intention was unmistakable. I saved three — for your edification, of course — because they were somewhat alike as with the first two, or atypical as is the last shown here.

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My request for a “Japanese business man’s hotel” had apparently been taken to mean I was in search of such evening services, or this is simply the norm in hotels that cater to traveling business men in Japan. Either way, I must admit it was an exposure to a different side of Japan than described in my Fodor’s guide book.

After a little contemplation, the gist of the card’s communication should be pretty easy to guess.

The attentions of young females, 18-25 years of age according to one of the cards, is available for 18,000 Yen, about $150. What services are included is unclear but there would be a period of 90 or 100 minutes, in which to figure it out.

I’m guessing the extra 10 minutes from the last provider is to make up for the tacky drawing instead of an actual photograph, or maybe it just takes longer with their providers?

And I still wonder what service is “OK” from that provider that is not mentioned by the other two?


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