Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Daydream Believer

Saturday, October 27, 1990  - the second day of my three day trip to the city of Osaka (aka Osaka-shi).

Getting up the next morning was a chore. Apparently there were no curtains in this Japanese-style hotel, so I was up at around 5AM when the sun rose.

Since I had had a shower the night before and it was wet when I went to sleep, my hair was doing weird things, and no amount of wetting it down could tame it.

I suppose I could have had a shower, but that would take effort, and I spent all of my effort last night into a condom. I really was spent.

I'm very vain about my hair. It's one of the few vanities I have that I will admit to. The other vanities I won't admit to.

Screw it... who's going to recognize me in this city? No one.
I sat around the room for awhile and thought about what I was going to do today. Not knowing what was in Osaka except for it's wonderful castle, I knew that had to be my ultimate destination.

I had lunch at a nearby McDonalds - I had a terriyaki burger - really.

I found a subway system, got on a train and departed four stops later and began walking in the direction of
Osaka castle. It was fairly obvious that I had taken the train in the opposite direction as I had just pas my hoyel from the previous night. Wrong Way Joseph nearly did it again. Actually, I did do it. Twice. But enough about last night.

After 30 minutes of walking, I hailed a taxi. He took me the one kilometre to the castle. The fair was 480 Yen for which I gave him 1000Yen telling him to keep the change as I got out of the car. To my chagrin he got out, chased me down, bowed so deep that I could see that he hadn't washed the nape of his neck in weeks and held out two hands with my exact change. Apparently they don't do tips here in Japan.

Osaka-jo (castle) was wonderful to look at from the outside, and I spent 4-1/2 hours exploring it and the surrounding grounds. It was my first ever castle - never even went to Casa Loma in Toronto. Is that a castle? Anyhow, click HERE for photos of Osaka-jo.

Sated, I went and found a pay phone and slipped in my VISA card and called Ashley. Needing an excuse to talk to her - I was on vacation, right? - I told her I was lost. I found out later that she told all of the other AETs in our prefecture (province). Damn. I was feeling very guilty. I had told her I was seeing this Japanese girl that was a friend of the family's friends... so I just wanted to hear her tell me not to do anything with Toshiko - like her telling me would mean I couldn't actually do it. Pathetic, ain't it?

And she did, in a playful joking manner - like love-struck Andrew would ever cheat on Ashley.

I found an International department store and bought some western-sized condoms - two more boxes... that should last me the year! I was either optimistic I would get to use them all or pessimistic that I wouldn't need more.

I had lunch at around 4:30 at what the Japanese call a famous American restaurant called Carls Jr. - which I later asked Matthew and Ashley about, but neither had heard of it. The food gave me the runs.

I meet up with Toshiko back at my hotel at 6:30 and go to dinner - Japanese style  - with two other couples. At 8:30 she says it's time for the two of us to leave as she wants to show me the sights down by South Osaka. Honestly, if I wasn't from Toronto, I might have been impressed, but it's just a big westernized city with zero personality.

We head out for more drinks - at a place called Kirin City. Kirin isa major manufacturer of beer - and is my favourite brand. I have three Kirin Dark draughts and some more food - I pay! Toshiko is already hammered after one beer, and on the way back to my hotel she keeps trying to grab my hand. I keep switching my shopping bag to different hands to confound her - and it seems to be working. Ashely said not to do anything with Toshiko, so now I'm listening. Aren't I a good boyfriend? I don't think so either.

I do give her a good night kiss when we get to my hotel but I tell her I'm tired and want to sleep. She's disappointed. I've disappointed a woman, but not for the usual reasons. It feeds my ego, which is starting to put on weight in this country.

Despite my exhaustion at carrying my heavy conscience around, I stay up and watch television. There's a weird show on with lots of big-breasted Japanese women on it (Do they really exist here??) One has her breasts painted by an artist - he's a professional, and does something Dali-esque. Next there's a sex demonstration with a lady showing a couple how to turn each other on by stroking each other's legs.
This is all in Japanese, but I'm guessing sex is an International language, because I swear I understood one of the men say: "The hell with this", and grabbed his wife and began sucking her toes.

Somewhere I am only able to watch this crappy television show for two hours.

Andrew Joseph
Today's title brought to you by The Monkees.

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