Osaka Adventure – Day 2

Yesterday was the one day on my visit that Scott had classes, so I took it easy and did the vacationing part of my vacation (meaning lots of naps). I did venture out for a walk around the neighborhood, hence the most recent batch of photos.

When the crew came back from class, we began preparations for the night’s nabe party. Nabe is like hot pot, except there’s just one big pot that you shove everything into and everyone dishes out from it. We went to the grocery to pick up ingredients, and I rode on the back of Scott’s bicycle. It kind of gave me flashbacks to when I was little and rode in that plastic seat attached to the back of my dad’s bike, though less terrifying and more painful over bumps.

The nabe party was delicious! There were 11 of us packed into the room, so we needed 2 pots, but there was plenty of tasty food to go around. Scott explained that nabe parties are pretty typical for the college crowd in Japan. I think I’d like to wrangle one together back home!

Now, even though I’m pretty much over my jetlag, I’m still an early bird and get sleepy way early. The plan was to go to karaoke after the nabe party, but 11 rolled around and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I do not have the stamina to keep up with these college kids! Granted, when I was in undergrad I rarely had the stamina to keep up then, so maybe it’s just me. Anyway, I ducked out of karaoke, and it’s a good thing because they JUST got back (it’s like 6am over here). There’s no way I would have made it.

Anyway, a fun day!

Osaka Adventure – Day 1

We got right off to an adventurous start today. After waking up and enjoying a tasty Scott-cooked breakfast, we made our way to The Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum.

Lo, the educational wonders of the rich history of instant ramen! A large timeline wall displayed every product since instant ramen’s inception in 1958! A colorful cartoon clearly geared for 10-year-olds explained the birth of the idea for cup noodles! And best of all…

That’s right, I got to make my very own instant ramen! And I mean the noodles themselves – we got to roll them out and cut them and decorate our own package! Let’s ignore the fact that Sena and I were the only two adults participating. Don’t worry, photos will be forthcoming.

Other than that, I got reacquainted with all the little things I loved about Japan from my last visit: the textured sidewalk paths for the blind, CC Lemon, those little shortbread and chocolate things in the shapes of mushrooms, etc.

This evening, Scott cooked a delicious dinner of rice and pork and veggies. They have lemon-infused soy sauce here! I want to bring some home, if I can, but the logistics are tricky since I don’t have any checked luggage. Anyway, Scott’s mom would be proud of the cooking prowess he has inherited from her 🙂

Osaka Adventure – Travel Phase

I am safe in Osaka, all! Chillaxing at the airport, currently, as Scott went to the wrong airport to get me, doh! Worry not, through the magic of Skype and free wireless internet, we were able to touch base and he is on the train bound for the correct airport 🙂

Meanwhile, the traveling phase went well enough. One of my super powers is my ability to sleep like a rock in even the most uncomfortable of situations, so I snoozed soundly through the long flight to Seoul. On the brief moments I was awake, the lady next to me was very enthusiastic about chatting and sharing her life story. She was bound home for the Philippines, she has seven children (all grown up), she and her husband have been married for 50 years and just got done driving up the coast of California and back. She was very nice, and envied my ability to sleep for the majority of the 14 hour flight.

Meanwhile, I had the longest layover EVER in Seoul. I got in at about 5am and my flight out wasn’t until 1pm, so there was ample time for killing. I’d never been to Korea before, and even though I don’t technically count being in just an airport as having visited a place, I did find the place enjoyable. For one, I think all airports could do with more large touch screen displays that give you step by step visual directions from where you are to whatever gate you need to go.

Also, they had these classy relaxation/lounge areas on the upper floors of the airports, with really comfy lounge couch chair thingies. I promptly took a nap for several hours 🙂

I killed the rest of the day with naps, a nice breakfast/lunch/jetlag meal (gyoza and orange soda, does it count as ethnic? I think it’s still airport food, but it was tasty), interneting (I wish all airports in the world had free wifi!) and playing Phoenix Wright.

The hop from Seoul to Osaka was short enough, and now I wait for the arrival of Scott. What remains to be seen is if I can hold out for real food or if I’m going to buy 3 boxes of pocky and devour them before he gets here. Only time will tell!

General Update

Things are going well in the Lisa-verse! Life is busy but good and generally on the up-and-up, though Derby season always makes me a little homesick for Louisville.

Last night, Nick and Nathan and Ross and I spent the evening playing Arkham Horror, which was my first time playing the game. I liked it quite a bit! I’m a sucker for cooperative board games anyway, but this one had a nice adventure element going on with it. It is very much like playing a one-shot session of D&D without the planning overhead that the DM has to do. Thinking about it in this way made it much easier to stomach the fact that it’s a 5 hour game.

Granted, we all were devoured in the end, but I’d happily devote another evening to it. Next time I play I’ll have a much better understanding of how things work, and make a more educated choice in my character.

Other updates!

1. Mr. Davis is doing really well – he loves the clicker training, goes out on walks with me, and is generally all about affection and snuggles. However, he has recently taken up the habit of climbing up the screen door when he’s riled up and playing, which is problematic. What I need is a long, narrow strip of carpet that I can mount on the wall for him to climb up. Any idea on where to procure such an item?

2. I’m going to Japan in like 2 weeks! SO EXCITED! I’ll be visiting Scott Coffrin, who I haven’t seen in years, so that will be fun. It’s a short, week-long trip, and I’ll be in Osaka for most of it, with a day trip to Kyoto somewhere in there. Can’t wait!

3. I have a boyfriend! That’s old news to most of you, but I know not everyone keeps up with facebook relationship status changes 🙂 We are going out on a fancy-pants date this very evening, in fact.

4. Work remains busy and fun and exciting and awesome.

That’s about it from me for now, I suppose.