Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Japannerific


Here I am in Sumo Backpackers Guesthouse. It's cosy and cute with ten beds, three of which are occupied including me.

The bus to the airport was uneventful, the flight was sweet since I had three seats in a row to myself and an unobstructed window seat. Yeah! First time ever that I don't get stuck with wing and more wing. My director booked this flight for both me and my coworker Chris, but Chris was nowhere to be seen. I wonder what happened to him.

I got to the airport in Japan and breezed through customs, even though I lied. I'm just visiting; visiting Korea, visiting Japan, living in Canada. Why did I lie? Well I was honest on my way from Canada and honesty did nothing but slow me down. So I lied and got away with it.

From the airport I was to take a train to JR Osaka station. I stood for ten minutes staring at this crazy map full of colourful lines and routes. I had absolutely no clue. Asking for help seems to work and I paid over ten dollars to take the long train ride to Osaka station.

From there I had to go one stop on the something-suji line... to Nakutsu or something. Can you tell that I am adept at remembering Japanese names? Osaka station is so sprawling that I really felt lost. I couldn't find the line, I couldn't figure out how to get a ticket. It was insanity. a very nice lady saw me looking forlorn and helped me with my ticket. Did you know there are women-only cars on the subway? It's true!

I had directions to get to my hostel but they didn't work so I called and got picked up. It's really easy to find after all.

The hostel is cozy and nice. You leave your shoes at the door and there is a lounge with a tv, this computer, and many books to read. There are only two other guests here right now so I don't have to worry much about sharing. One is named Fay, a British guy travelling through Japan for three months. The other is called... uhhh... let's call him Doug from Canada. He just arrived and will be heading to Beijing to teach English. He has a five year plan for teaching in five different countries. Five years, holy moly. Good luck to you, pal.

After taking it easy for a while I went out to explore, walking by many different restaurants, none of which had sushi which is what I was craving. I wasn't exactly sure which direction I was going but eventually I found Osaka station by foot and headed into the tourist information centre to pick up some maps and brochures. The woman pointed me to a restaurant nearby.

I went in and had some tempura. Mmm mmm tempura. Since I was all alone I was seated at the bar-like area that is often in Japanese restaurants at home too. Next to me was a noodle-slurping woman who laughed at me as I ate awkwardly ate my shrimp with chopsticks. Jordy, I thought of you tonight!

I wasn't quite satisfied and there was nothing else at that restaurant that I could identify, so I went to another restaurant nearby, this one with a conveyor belt of sushi going by. The sushi was placed on colour coded dishes at varying prices so you just take what you want and they charge you accordingly afterwards. I had some salmon sushi, some eel or something, some tuna, and a roll of some sort. Very delicious and exciting to watch the food go by. Better than a parade, I tell ya!

I walked back to the hostel and chatted with the others for a little while and now I'm going to get cozy and read for a while before falling asleep. So far so good.

Oh, except I might be royally screwed. I didn't bring my documents with me like my degree and transcripts. I don't know if I need them and didn't think that I would because my director took them to get a special form processed. I have that form and my passport but nothing else. Cross your fingers for me, okay? Or let me know that I'm indeed screwed so I can try to get my documents fed exed as soon as possible.

Alright folks, that's all I got.

8 Comments:

At July 26, 2005 10:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heya Jess,
Guess what? SOme news from T.O.
I just read an article about Dr. Atkinson in the Toronto Metro Newspaper this morning, while waiting for the bus. So funny, he talks about how he waits a month before wearing a short sleeved shirt to class, and the students are so quiet and shocked after seeing all his tattoos.
I almost grabbed the paper out of a woman's hand, I was like, "Hey, that's my Sociology Prof!!"

Jen E.

 
At July 26, 2005 5:24 PM , Anonymous Jordy said...

Sushi in Japan! Nicely done Jess....

 
At July 26, 2005 5:57 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

Haha that's hilarious! I acutally just emailed him the other day out of the blue about an imaginary ethnography on why people go abroad.

Ahh, those tattoos...

Yeah Jordy, you know it!

 
At July 26, 2005 8:19 PM , Blogger Shells Bells said...

Hey Jess! Wow Japan sounds exciting! And don't worry about your degree and stuff..if your boss got you a special form you just need that and your passport and you are all set for your visa! I'm jealous you are eating sushi in the traditional form...must be super yummy!!! Hey do you want me to wait until Saturday to go to immigration in Seoul for my alien card so we can find it together?? Take TONS of pics in Japan dude! Enjoy the rest of your time there! :)

 
At July 27, 2005 8:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jess, It is 10:00 am in the morning there and we haven't hear from you since yesterday. What is happening in Osaka? We are waiting to hear. Mom

 
At July 27, 2005 8:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jess. It's Marlene, your Mom's friend in Mtl. I was just looking at your pictures. Your Mom said I should peruse your blog. I give you a lot of credit for doing what you are doing...it takes guts. You have some amazing pics. I might stop by again. Take care.
Marlene

 
At July 28, 2005 5:51 AM , Blogger D'Arcy said...

SERIOUSLY Jess! We're dying to hear about how things have been going over there in Japanland.

I miss you dearly, and can't wait til you come home tomorrow. Life in Korea ain't the same without you.

Safe travels...

 
At July 28, 2005 7:04 PM , Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks for the comments Shelly, Momma, Marlene, and Darce. Stop by anytime. :)

Darce, I got it under control! Miss you too sweet cheeks. See you at about eight tonight.

 

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