Out And About Day
This morning a woke up earlier than usual and hopped on a train to Kobe. Since I still have days left on my "ripoff" card, it didn't cost me anything to go and I had a blast.
The fun started on the train. I was chilling in my seat when the girl across from me started giving me weird looks and the all of the sudden, jumped across the aisle and landed in the seat across from me. As soon as landed she asked me the most random question I have had someone ask me in a long time, "Do you like science?" I told her it was okay but I was more of a history guy and no sooner had that come out of my mouth she handed me a paper and told me she needed help. All of this was done in pretty good English. I asked her what it was she needed help with and it was some test question about if people had landed on a planet similar to ours, what steps would be taken in proving oil was below the piece of land in question. It was very odd and I took a shot at it, I also called a friend and he agreed with my logic. I am not sure if she used my answer or not but that was the springboard for a conversation that lasted the rest of the train ride.
She was kind of interesting, she was born in Texas while her parents were there working so technically she is an American citizen and she told me she would like to visit Texas but was afraid to go because of the food. I asked her what was wrong with American food and she said that it was very unhealthy. I agreed but also said that it just came down to what you chose to eat. She decided that it would be best if she brought her rice cooker with her so she could at least have properly made rice when she wanted it. She asked me all sorts of questions and I found out that she lived in Kyoto with her sister and attended university there. I think she was really nervous to talk to me because she asked me a couple of questions twice. Either way, it was a fun way to spend the train ride. The next funny thing came during a lull in out talking. I noticed a really good looking woman had gotten out of her seat and started baby stepping closer and closer to our seats. She stopped on the other side of our seats and stood directly in front of me. She then started to give me very strange looks and glances. I couldn't help but notice because she was hot and so for the rest of the ride both of us looked each other over. After a bit I noticed why exactly she had been scooting closer to us, she knew English too. She pulled out a book and was reading it and it was definitely in English. I am not sure why I was a chick magnet today but it needs to happen more often; that was a fun train ride.
After leaving my two new lady friends, I headed to Kobe. The thing I like about Kobe is no matter what the weather is like wherever I came from, in Kobe it's always sunny. When I arrived in the second most beautiful city in Japan (not my opinion, it was actually voted that behind Sapporo) it was cloudy but after a bit, the sun decided to show itself and it even warmed up a tad. I found a cool place just outside of the station that I knew existed but did not know how long it went on for. Directly underneath the railroad tracks there is a tunnel that is lined with shops. When you start at the beginning, it is kind of seedy but the stores are really varied and carry interesting stuff. For example, as a momento of the trip, I snagged three buttons from 1960's China. Two of them have Chairman Mao on them and are silver with red behind Mao and the other is of Vietnamese leader, Ho Chi Minh or "Uncle Ho" as he liked to be called. They were cheap and they all had to do with a time in Chinese and Asian history that I find very sad but interesting.
As you get nearer to the core of the tunnels, the shops get trendier and much more expensive. Think of clothing stores you would find along Rodeo Drive and put them in a trashy tunnel under some railroad tracks and you have this shopping area. It's a very interesting walk. At the end of my tunnel journey, I was spat out into the open air and right in front of the entrance to Kobe's Chinatown. As Chinatowns go, this one is very clean but not very big. It's pretty much all restaurants and street vendors and I snagged a tasty little treat while I was there; it was basically the Chinese take on the hamburger, a slab of rice bun dough folded over a chunk of barbequed pork. It was tasty and I think it may be something of a traditional food for this Chinatown in particular. I was able to get a Hello Kitty cell phone strap with her eating one of the things I ate.
After Kobe, I went into Osaka to go to my bookstore to see if anything new had come out. I am hard up for reading material at the moment and am grasping at straws for something to keep me interested. Either I have gotten pickier in my reading habits or the book selection has really started to suck; I think it may be a combination of the two. After the bookstore, I made a quick trip to Costco to get more cheese and while there, I picked up a USB flash drive. I have some things that I want to get backed up on to something easily accessable and more durable and smaller than a CD or DVD, this fits the bill and give me plenty of room.
That pretty much gets me to where I am now, slightly worn out and on my computer. Since more pics were requested, here you go.
This is just a cool building I saw today and I like the colors or it contrasted with the sky:
So there you have it, my busy but fun day.