Saturday, September 02, 2006

Proof that everything on the internet eventually degrades to porn: less than a week we've been gone, and what does everyone demand? Pictures of the bums. Well we don't have the bums, but here I am between the giant heads. We also have a few more pictures from our one night in Osaka.

The "circus" area that we walked through was very daunting. Everything was either a restaurant or a gambling parlour. Everything was lit up, flashing, making noises. I've never been to Vegas, but I imagine it must be like that. We ended up eating our first meal in some kind of clown. We didn't understand anything they said, but many restaurants have picture-menus, and you may just point at what you want. "Kore o kudasai" means "I'd like this, please." That's a helpful phrase. It is also helpful that many restaurants have a display case out front with very realistic plastic replicas of their dishes. We were somewhat able to determine whether restaurants contained things we wanted to eat this way.

We didn't understand anything they said at the restaurant, but we kept thanking them, and they kept smiling, and everyone was fed, so I guess we did alright.

The karaoke place had only one staff member who spoke any English, and his was very limited. We eventually negotiated an hour in a private booth, and a round of drinks.

All in all Osaka was a positive experience. Very colourful and very exciting. But also very exhausting, especially after the long day's travel.

Next up we'll have stories from our first few days in Nagoya. We now have an internet connection in our apartment, so the posting won't stop any time soon!

- Ian


Anonymous said...

Sounds like your having a... confusing, but good time!! In the last message you said something about this machine, and a ticket,
and a guy how runs to your table...(I didn't say THAT very well, did I
??) Well, that sounds really weird!

Love you, & miss you TONS,
Alexandra xoxo

Anonymous said...

Ian, are the other 'guijin' in the pictures other teachers? Mom

Mom said...

Do I need to get an account to get my name to appear?

Mom said...

How did I do that?

your friends in Japan said...

Alexandra - you said THAT well enough. It's pretty hard even for me to explain because it's not like anything I've experienced in Canada. I guess it's best described as the menu being a vending machine. When you put money in, the menu lights up to show you your options. You then select your meal by pushing the appropriate buttons, and it prints out a little ticket. You then take a seat wherever you like, and a server comes out and says...well I have absolutely no idea what he's a lot of Japanese. And he says please and thank you a lot (those are some of the only words I can pick out consistently), so at least he's very polite! Then a little later the food comes. These places are the easiest to eat at because the menus have pictures, and sometimes even English! Also, we don't really have to speak at all...the little ticket tells him exactly what we want.

Mom - Hai ("yes"), the other gaijin ("foreigners") were teachers that were on our flight to Osaka from Vancouver. We bonded with them for one night, but we all scattered our separate ways the next morning, so we don't know if we'll get to see them again. Hopefully we'll start meeting people once we begin work. Also, there are supposed to be 200 English teachers staying in our apartment building, so we should have a good chance of making some new friends.

your friends in Japan said...

Oops, now I'm forgetting to sign my name.

The above message is from Ian!