February 21, 2008

Today turned out to be ‘one of those days’. But things ended on a very high note so all is great now.

I arrived in Osaka and got settled. I was blown away to see the place that I had booked for the next five nights. A person can’t really expect
much when they are paying less than $20 for their own private room in Japan. All I can say is don’t believe the hype with how expensive
everything is in Japan. While the room is anything but spacious, it has nice bedding (a duvet) and a television (so I can catch up with the
latest Japanese soap operas) and a fridge. They also provide towels, robes, soap, hair-dryers, toothbrush/toothpaste and shampoo. And
they have great Japanese-style showers and a women’s public bath. I could have opted for a ‘traditional’ room versus a Western room. But
I haven’t had my own room in over one month – I think I am due to be comfortable for five days. Not to say sleeping on a tatami mat
comfortable – I’m just saying I didn’t want to take the chance.

I asked a guy (Chad) staying here what he recommended that I see in Osaka. He said the castle. He also suggested a nearby electronics
street. I told him that probably wouldn’t be necessary but that the castle sounded like a plan. It was off to the Osaka Castle I went.

As I went to pull my wallet out to get my money, something crashed to the ground. My camera. I wasn’t too worried – I had done this
before. But this time the battery was on the ground and the little plastic piece inside to keep the battery in place had broken off. For the life
of my I couldn’t get the battery to go into the camera. It was broken. Of course this would have to happen in my last week of my trip. And I
can’t go around Japan without a camera. The irony of it all is that I would now need to search for that electronics street that Chad had told
me about. It was so weird though the way I handle these things now. Well, not really ‘weird’. I guess ‘good’ is a better word. I pretty much
thought ‘this is so typical of me’. I never got frustrated or upset or even mad at myself. Sure, this was going to be about $300 that I wasn’t
planning on spending. All I thought was ‘Why didn’t you just put the strap around your wrist like you always do?’ Oh well. These things
happen. And it’s not the end of the world. And what better place to be than in Japan when something like this is to happen? Now I was just
trying to figure out in my mind if Panasonic was a Japanese brand since I have all of the extra batteries, etc. for my camera. I was hoping
that I might be able to find the same one.

I found the electronics street and saw a ‘Panasonic’ sign in bright neon lights. Things were looking up for me. The minute I stepped into a
huge megastore, I saw the Lumix camera immediately. Yay!  I showed the guy my camera in order to tell him I needed another one since
mine had broke. The battery wasn’t inside and he shut the slot and said it was fine. I told him that the battery wouldn’t go in. With one
movement he put it in and shut the slot and then turned it on to show it worked.

Can you believe that in my two minutes of trying to put the battery in while I was at the castle, I never once even considered that I was
putting the battery in upside down?

So now the day was an incredible great one. And because I had already accepted that I was going to be spending $300, it almost felt like I
saved $300 which made me feel like I could buy some electronics with that saved money. I was even drawn to the flat-screen HD
television. The only thing holding my back (aside from the $900) was that there was Japanese writing on it and I have a feeling that might
be tricky to figure out when I need to program things. Darn. Guess I will have to settle on ipod accessories and possibly a back-up camera.
When in Rome…

After all of that, I went back to the hotel and met up with Chad and a couple other people so that we could go to dinner. We went to Namba
the area to be at night. I just love Japan. And now I love Osaka. We started at a ramen place and ended at a pub where a Japanese dart
tournament was taking place. We even saw a huddle. Awesome.
Back to Japan.
The Osaka Castle.
The neon lights of Osaka.
Loving all things Japanese in Osaka..