Thursday, August 31, 2006

Crazy Midnight Circus Town

We will describe it, and we will show you the pictures, but none of that can do this place justice. When we exit our hotel (past the giant bums, and their giant heads), and walk down the street (of what seems to be called the "Dotonbori District") it is like entering the most insane carnival of lights and sounds that either of us have ever seen. It was mind-blowing sensory overload! Everything was flashing and blinking like an epileptic's worst nightmare. Every other shop seemed to be a restaurant, its front window lined with fake food displays of what it had to offer. We entered an arcade, where downstairs there was a group of people silently fishing in a pond. After some tense silence, one lucky girl pulled a live fish out of the pond and landed it on the ground where she unhooked it. However, when she tried to put it in her net, she dropped it back into the water.

Ordering dinner was a completely different adventure, as was figuring out our space-age hotel washroom, but the details will have to wait until later. Shortly we are being met by Nova staff, and being taken to our new home in Nagoya. If it's anything like Osaka, we'll have plenty more to report soon...

Ian enjoys his first Japanese vending machine experience with a can of Bubble Man II.

Ian: "I hear it's even better than the original Bubble Man!"

A few shots on the bright Osaka streets.

We just realized this morning that we have an internet connection in our room, that's why we're able to post some pictures on Tara's computer, and also use a more English keyboard.

Other important notes: Yes, we DID enjoy karaoke last night. It took us the first 20 minutes to figure out how to enter songs into the machine, and then where the English songs were located in the book. Our hits included Bohemian Rhapsody, Come Together, and Wonderwall, among other classics.

Stay tuned for more!
-Ian and Tara


Anonymous said...

Sooo, the flight was good?? Will u
reply to my message?? It would
be cool to hear from you!!!!!

Love you, and miss you lots,
Alexandra xoxo

Derrick M said...

Bubble Man II!!!

I didn't think they could improve on the bubbly(man?) flavour of the first one!

The fishing pond beneath the arcade sounds so surreal...

Oh, and great selection of Karaoke songs!

Daver said...

Woooohoooo Bubble man was much better I must say, but Bubble man II is damn good!....

Anyway it looks like you guys are having a blast so far! keep those pictures coming!

Anonymous said...

Wow. Can't wait to see photos of Nagoya. So are there six button bidets in the bathrooms?

Anonymous said...

Glad all is going well!! We miss you LOTS!!! I am heading back to Florida tomorrow (friday). The hurricane didn't amount to anything. Hope you are settling in to your new surroundings. It is very weird to think of you on the other side of the world. I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around this whole thing. Enjoy and stay safe!! I love you Mom. P.S. Dave when did you become such an expert on Bubble Man!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tara and Ian, saw vidio and pictures, both look very happy and having a good time. Good to hear from you...looking forward to more pictures and news. Love Grandma and Poppy. xoxo

your friends in Japan said...

Of course I will reply to your message!!
The flight was good and uneventful, which is really what you want on a plane ride.
Everything here is soooo crazy and different. We don't know what's going on!!
Yesterday we went to a resaurant where you go up to a machine like a vending machine, put your money in and press the button with the picture of the food you want. Then it gives you a ticket and you sit down and a minute later a guy comes running out with your dinner! It was weeeiird!! (but really neat as well).

We are going this afternoon to try and get some stuff for our apartment so I will let you know if we run into any other craziness!

I love you and I miss you too, lots and lots!!
Tara xoxo

your friends in Japan said...

Grandma and Poppy-
You are on the internet!!! Coooool.
Its awesome that you can come on here and see all the stuff we've been up to. Last night we went out and I had to buy a towel and face cloth because I have none. It sounds like a simple task, but when you can't speak to the salesperson and need to know how much it costs, its a little more challenging. But I figured it out and managed to talk to her (slightly), and now I have a towel!! Wooo! I'll be fluent in no time!

I love you guys and I miss you both!! Keep checking up on us!

Love Tara

your friends in Japan said...

Derrick/Dave/Debbie - to be perfectly honest, Bubble Man II is a horrible tasting soda, and I will probably not buy it again while I'm here. However, the can features a diagram of a small rocket ship with a Pilot sitting on the shoulders of his assistant (all these are labelled in English), so at the very least it was entertaining.

Today I bought a KitKat bar (just like ours in taste, but there were 4 individually wrapped bars inside a cardboard box), and a C.C. Lemon which promised me "50 lemons' worth of Vitamin C in every can." That's a lotta lemons!

Mom - no, our toilet ("toy-re") is very Western...almost disappointingly so after the space age automatic, heated, washer-jet toilet in our hotel room in Osaka. Tara found one in the hotel lobby that had a "pleasant fragrance emission" option, as well as a "flushing sound" option. Yes, it also has a regular flush, but if you just want some cover noise, you may use the flush sound without wasting water!

- Ian

Derrick M said...

Wow! A flushing sound without wasting water! There is some evidence of the super-efficiency of the Japenese! :D

Also, you have crushed my hopes and dreams that Bubbleman soda was the best pop in the world... you must find the best pop, Ian... that is your task. ;)

Anonymous said...

Mr. Sparkle. I think they only use the special ingredients in the products with English labels on them. Extra Flavour. Cool blog site.

Ruth Matheson

Dad said...

Hi guys, I want to know why you didn't post picture so fthe great big bums, and the deformity of the feet coming out of the that is a plastic surgeons worst nightmare. So when you return from Japan, are you going to bring home a can of Bubble Man II? You shoulkd also ship home one of those futuristic toilets.

I love you guys!

your friends in Japan said...

Derrick - I'll keep my eyes open! Most vending machines contain Coke or Pepsi, many cold coffee beverages in very small cans, various juices (I had grapefruit last night, which was delicious), and the most popular thing seems to be unsweetened cold green tea which is almost invariably in every single vending machine (except the cigarette machines).

Aunt Ruth! - glad you found us on here. The funny thing about English here is that it's written on a LOT of things, but most people don't seem to know what any of it means. It is very trendy to have English "sentences" written on your t-shirt, or as your business' slogan, but none of it makes any sense. As English teachers, we'll definitely have our work cut out for us.

Des - I don't think it would be necessary to ship the toilets. I'm pretty sure I saw one with a rocket function that allows it to fly home on its own.

- Ian