|A NUMPTY IN NAMBA.|
|WHICH COINS TO USE?|
WHICH BUTTONS TO PUSH?
|THE BEAUTIFUL SMILES BELIE THE CHALLENGES OF NAVIGATING OSAKA'S DIZZYING SUBWAY NETWORK.|
|REALITY SETS IN.|
DRINK WONDA WONDERFUL COFFEE.
|MADE IT TO OUR DESTINATION!|
Our first night in Osaka was a tragicomedy that involved a bottle of Bombay's Sapphire gin in our cute room at Best Western Shinsaibashi, some really terrible "kerosene chicken" (because Emma and Chris refused to eat raw chicken - duh!) in an unknown Japanese eatery, and me leaving said eatery in a huff. Drunk, angry, hungry, lost, and without a yen to my name.
I think I might have wandered off to find a money changer; all I had was a few Hong Kong dollar bills. Lucky me, the currency exchange counter in Daimaru had already closed and I had no choice but to find my way back to our toybox of a hotel room. Emma and Chris walked in a few minutes later with a "peace offering" - a Sapporo Beer King Can. We drank some more amid what seemed to us then like gut-wrenching discussion.
"Speak to him, Ems," Chris implored. "You're much better at it than I am!"
"You have to promise," Emma insisted, "that what we spoke about tonight will stay in this room will never be spoken about again."
"I promise," I said.
"Good," she sighed. "God, gin such a downer!"
I was practically blind the next day. I think I might have flushed my contact lenses down the drain the previous night - but who knows what might have truly happened??
The entire morning was drenched in blazing sunshine, with but just a few clouds to soften the assault. We struggled with Osaka's tangled network of subway lines. I suspect it was exactly what we needed to clear the previous night's cobwebs away.