May 22, 2011

Recent happenings

Been a few days since my last post so i guess i should update again.
Really not too much to report though, but i guess i never wrote about where we're staying or anything yet.  Honestly not the greatest of places, it's kind of ghetto.. not unsafe or anything just kinda old and dirty.  The guesthouse is right across from an elementary school, but down the road a little ways (the road we walk to get to the supermarket) there are always homeless people hanging out and it always smells like urine.  (Which, i have on multiple occasions seen them just peeing on the wall in broad daylight..)  They don't beg for money or anything, but if they did i guess it would feel like being back in Seattle again. :D

As for the guesthouse, it's quite lacking in privacy, but everyone here is really nice.  Most of them are from Korea, there's a girl from Australia, a guy from Holland, some people from Japan, France, the US, China/Taiwan, etc..  Definitely a different experience from the guesthouse in Kyoto and our hostel in Tokyo.. though it reminds me of the hostel Carl and i stayed at in Saitama when i was here last (but living conditions there were pretty bad, lol.  Here it's just... homely).  Sometimes it's irritating when people are talking loud at night, but then it's fun to hang out with everyone during the day and talk and eat together, and since there's such a mix of languages people usually communicate in Japanese since most everyone here can speak enough of it, so it's good practice for me. :)  The other night we headed out to a nicer, more lively part of Osaka with the girl from Australia and the guy from Holland and walked around, watched a street performer, and just hung out.

Oh, i also have to share a story about the day we arrived!  So we got off at the station that we were supposed to, according to the directions from the guesthouse's website, but the map and detailed directions they had were from another station that we couldn't get to, so we were pretty clueless as to how to get there.  First, as we hauled our suitcases up the stairs and out of the subway station, these guys at the newspaper stand right at the entrance/exit to the station went and carried S's huge suitcase up the stairs.  We told them what area we were trying to get to and they pointed us to the general area.  We set off but soon realized we still had no idea how to get there, so we went back looking all pathetic to ask for more specific directions.  I gave one of the guys the paper i had with the guesthouse's info, and he called the number to get directions, and then walked us the whole way there while dragging one of S's suitcases too!  This is why i love Kansai, the people here are so much more friendly and outgoing than in Tokyo (not to say people in Tokyo aren't friendly.. they just tend to keep to themselves more).  Later we bought him some sweets as a little thank-you and went to the stand to give it to him but he wasn't there.  That evening while we were out he had stopped by the guesthouse to see how we were doing, and we were so sad that we had missed him!  We took the sweets back to the stand the next day and asked the guy working if he could give them to him.  And then that evening he stopped by again (we were there that time thankfully!) and thanked us profusely for the sweets.
People in stores, random people on the street, clerks.. they're all more willing to talk to us too.  We were in the little drug store and as i was looking at the insect repellants they have (since i've been getting eaten alive), the lady in the store came over and explained how they worked, since they're a little more complex than i thought!  (There were boxes selling the base [kinda like those dome-shaped air-fresheners] and then the little fan replacements and the liquid repellant replacements, etc..)  Just little things like that.. i'd really like to stay in Kansai for work, but am getting a little impatient with Amity.  They've yet to get back to me about when/where i'll be working.  But in the meantime, I've already had a Skype-interview with a company similar to JET, who is looking for teachers to work around Tokyo.  If they can get me a job sooner, i guess i'll be going with them!

Other than that, we met up with our good friend T-chan last Thursday, and yesterday we headed over to Kyoto to meet Miss A and go to a neat little flea-market in Tōji.  After the market we headed over to Kawaramachi, the area S and i had stayed at while in Kyoto.  Really do miss that place!  Definitely my favorite so far, and it was nice to be back in familiar territory. :)

Well, time to throw on some clothes so i can run to the store and get some groceries.  Haven't done much today so i'm still in my PJs.  Will probably get around to posting some pictures later.

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