Our Friday night 1986 date was only the start to a colorful weekend.
We continued the flashback reverie with a visit to Charlie's Tacos on Gate 2 street in Okinawa. This ramshackle restaurant opened in 1956 and is very popular with locals. You've got to love those places where the photos on the wall show the range of Farrah Fawcet wings, mullets, mustaches, and big spiral perm hairstyles through the decades...
We ordered tacos and enchiladas. I wouldn't say the taste was Mexican by any means- the sauce actually tasted sweet and the texture of the tortillas was unusual. Even so, they were tasty, albeit for a Japanese palate.
Afterwards, we sauntered down Gate 2 street and chanced upon Gitane, Cafe and Chanson Bar. When we headed up the stairs, we noticed French flags draping the ceiling and a French Revolutionary War painting in front of the door. La Resistance! Fraternite! Liberte!
Okay, enough French, but when's the last time you've seen an homage to Bastille Day on a tiny island in the Pacific? We were intrigued.
Inside we found a very interesting set-up (wooden tables and benches, outdoor furniture, and red coca-cola umbrellas) It was all meant to give the interior a decidedly urban cafe feel, I suppose. There was a table at the back with records from the late 70s and early 80s- musicians like the Dooby Brothers, Rita Coolidge, and Crystal Gale. (the flashback continues)
The bar host was very gracious with us, as we were the only patrons at the time. He served me a gigantic Awamori cocktail. It was almost a full glass of Awamori, and after one sip, I felt drunk.
When there's no band playing, Gitane offers Karaoke. After all, it is a chanson cafe. I sang 3 songs including my all time favorite, Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time. I was terrible, but the host and his wife applauded as though I was the most amazing singer ever.
Eventually more people entered Gitane, and a band set up to play. We had been looking forward to the show, but we remembered our parking expired soon, so we headed for home and a good night's sleep for our events on Sunday...