Apr 282002
 

One of the advantages of travelling alone is that when I want to stop and have a rest I can, if I want a drink, or some food or need to take a leak, I change my plans go and do as necessary. The other thing is that when I get lost, I’ve only got one person to blame. And I tell you, when I get home I’m going to find that person and kick the crap out of them for getting me lost all the time.

Did some wandering yesterday. Went to the Sony showrooms and played with some latest stuff. Didn’t really amaze me, except they were selling things from around the world. I picked up some Tiny Teddies, and could have got all 4 different types of Tim Tams. They wen’t too expensive either. But generally the tech theme was broadband wireless broadcasting. You have your digital sound system, or TV and it picks up broadcasts by Bluetooth technology … etc, etc. I didn’t find anything I thought was really cool … except for the GSP USB device, with software that tells you where you are, where to go and all that.

Dotomobori, which has huge neon adverts, and lots of resturants and so on, was the clostest I’ve got to a Bladerunner environment. I didn’t really get that feel in Tokyo because I didn’t go at night time. Part of stuffing Tokyo up. But this was really good last night, lots of people, lots of lights. Just needed the light, constant drizzle and Harrison Ford, and it would have been perfect.

I also went to a place called Amerika-Mura, where all the kids hang out. Mostly fashion victims and all, but it was pretty cool. Lots of nightclubs and shops selling clubbing gear. Bought a t-shirt, at great expense (and that was one on cheap sale.) But I liked it. I can’t think of anywhere in Sydney that matches this place. If it was Kings Cross I would have been feeling really threatened, but over here I’ve not been anywhere in Osaka that really freaks me out.

But I should say, I did get lost again. And yesterday was a particulary good example of why I’m dangerous with a map. From where I started, I had the map upside down. Actually no. To begin with I got off at the wrong subway station and didn’t realise. So I got lost getting to the Sony Building. But once I did that, I was feeling confident that I had it right. Anyway, set off for Amerika-Mura. About 1/2 hour later I knew I wat lost. I’ve found Osaka people to be the most friendly and helpful. Except the first set of directions got me completely more utterly lost. After a while, and getting more directions I found Amerika-Mura (maybe, and hour later.) The most embarrasing part, it was about 100 metres from where I had set out from, and I had my map upside down. If I had walked the other way, everything would have been fine. I like walking, just not this much.

The oddest part was meeting an American guy Patrick, selling digeridoos, to Japanese people, in Osaka, in a place called Amerika-Mura. Go figure.

But, I’m getting closer to understanding the homeless situation here. In the park around Osaka Castle, there’s all these blue tarp tents for the homeless. Patrick was saying sometimes they were high paid Salarymen, who when they lost their job would give everything to their wife and kids, and go and live in shame, unable to get another job.

But today there’s this kids festival in the park near these tents, which is just across from where I am now in a place called Osaka Business Park where quite a few hightech compaines are. The irony is compelling.

Also in the park, during the afternoon the local Osaka Rock, Pop and Goth groups come out and strut their stuff. There were probably about 20 bands all up, with different sets of groupies. No one really famous that I could tell, just the local groups. It would have been a buzz to come across someone internationally famous just having a jam, but alas no. As far as people watching went, the Goths were much better here then in Amerika-Mura, and the bands look pretty cool. As I said in Tokyo, everyone here looks cool, no matter what they look like. Thankfully because I’m a Gaijin (Westerner) and have my stupid hair colours, I think I look a bit scary to some of them, so I don’t usually feel threatened. But the atmosphere for this was really relaxed if you wanted it to be like that.

I think I want to be a Japanese Pop star. I don’t think it would be too hard.