Sunday, October 14, 2007

When the train stops running, things get crazy

The system of trains and subways in Japan is extensive. Vast. Convenient. From 5 am to midnight you can ride for low prices to just about anywhere. From 5 to midnight...after are on your own.

It all began like this...

Around noon on Sunday, Aaron and I rode the train to Osaka and met up with fellow Fulbright Fellows at the Osaka International Beer and Wine Summit. SO COOL! It was a medium sized festival set up American style with tents selling beer and food from all over the world. The best food was the Indian food..oh man, tandoori chicken with Naan bread. The best beer was from Brisitsh booth that had a beer from like every nation ever. I've seen and drank alot of fancy beers but man, there was alot of stuff I had never seen. I got a beer with "alpine herbs" in it...tasted like a Ricola beer, but it was good! really it was.

So, we had a blast in short. There was all kinds of ethnic dancing from thai, balinese, korean, and a tranvestite Indian dressed up as a beautiful woman who did a comedic dance rountine. "She" pulled one of the Fulbright men into the dance ring and what proceeded was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. It will be on youtube soon.

We were just have so much fun that we decided to go to a Karaoke club. Karaoke is verrrrry different here. You and your friends get your own private room with your own private machine to put whatever songs you want on it and then you basically all sing your little hearts out. Tambourine included. Oh, and it's usually all you can drink for a flat fee. You just call a waiter on the room phone and have huge amounts of drinks delivered whenever you want.

So, we went, we sang, we drank. We....missed the last train home!!!

Actually, we didn't miss the train, we got on the wrong one. Mind you, Aaron and I were staying at another Fulbrighter's place for the night, so we were not the ones navigating. We've never even been to Osaka before that night.

So, we rode the train for 25 minutes in the wrong direction to the middle of nowhere, somewhere in the loniest part of Osaka city. What to do now???

Well, Japan has come up with a solution to this dilemma because you see, it happens all the time! Tons of people are stranded after missing the last train because bars are open till 2am or later...trains all stop at midnight. Thus was birthed the manga kissa. Manga is the Japanese word for comic book and kissa is a shortened version of their word for coffee shop. Combine the two and you get a magical establishment that is open 24 hours, supplies a library of comic books, internet ready computers, soft drinks, snacks, massage chairs, and (At nicer places) small rooms you can rent out for a few people. Mind you these are not rooms set up for staying over night per se, it is just that you can do that if you need to. All this for a hourly fee. We ended up staying at the Manga kissa for about 3 hours, from 1:30 am to 4:30 am and it only cost us $10 a person (including free unlimited drinks).

At 4:30 am we slowly and very tiredly walked to the subway, waited for it to open at 5 am, got on the first train at 5:13 and ended up back home in Kobe by 6:30am.

I had to leave for school 2 hours later.

I am tired.

Oh, and Aaron bought a super famicon (Japan's Super Nintendo). He is very excited about it.


Unknown said...

It's about time Aaron picked up a Japanese console. And incidently, about time I put a comment on here. sorry about that. School is brutal this semester.

Kelli D said...

I miss you. Julie and Eric are engaged. Shan is getting increasingly larger by the day. Lisen is due in January, wedding is in April. Our bridesmaids dresses are purple (yes, like Barney). Jason is still gay (WTF?) I don't know if Austin is still iving. Write soon. The only paper mail I get are bills. Boo. I want to be pippi longstocking (for the 4th time) for halloween but I need your mom to pull it off. I looove wine. I loooove you. <3 MUAH!

Unknown said...

So I don't know when you guys (particularly Rewa) will be able check them out, but there's a band called Deadlock out of Germany that's pretty fantastic. Think 'Dead End' from 'Come Clarity' turned into a full band...chick clean vocals and male growls included.