Random Observation/Comment #48: Travbuddy.com is awesome and you can meet a lot of really friendly people from this social community. Brilliant – who doesn’t like traveling?
The TB meetup was at 8PM, but we arrived in Osaka
around 6PM. To kill time, we decided to go to the Floating Garden Observatory in Umeda
to see the sunset (Chris wanted to hold hands, but I objected). It was even more beautiful than the first time because the setting sun behind a perfectly placed cloud created a rainbow effect around the horizon. 270 degrees of the full view had a gorgeous stratification of colors that complimented the city view below.
It was rather crowded, but we later learned that today was a fireworks event. If we didn’t have to go to the meetup, we would have had the best seats in the house (floating garden). It must have taken about 30 minutes for the sun to set, but every passing minute changed the scenery of clouds in the distance. At certain times, the sky looked as if it supported the bat signal in the night sky. I probably took a million pictures of that backlit cloud… a million.
We met the travbuddy group at HEP5 under the large red whale. We were running a little late, but everything worked out well. We went to an all-you-can-drink bar in Namba and just enjoyed our time with a few beers. Gloria did a great job organizing everything and everyone we met there was great company. Chris (the Australian one) was much crazier than I expected.
He made a lot of funny faces when telling jokes, and did not hesitate to initiate random pictures. Chris (the American one) was also much more outgoing than expected. It was my first-time seeing him mingle at a party, and he just talked to everyone that spoke English. He even met some computer engineers while at the urinal. Although I’m not shy myself, I don’t openly walk up to strangers and start drunken conversations when I’m peeing.
My favorite conversation was with Maki. She has the most adorable high-pitched voice. We actually exchanged information and met the next night in Namba. It was very sweet of her to take me and Chris to different tourist attractions.
The party continued with introductions and friendly conversation. As the rounds kept coming, the laughter and shouting level increased.
It wasn’t long before we were all ready to break out into song. Karaoke was a possibility, but we were rather happy just going to another pub. Besides, our voices were hoarse from speaking at an audible volume in the large group.
As the night moved from bar to a British pub, we lost track of time and missed the last train at 11:30. I think it’s bullshyt that they don’t at least have a something every 1.5 hours or something until the first train at 5:30AM. I think they do it so the taxi drivers can make more (or some) money. I don’t know about most people, but I rather drink more and stay awake until 5:30 than pay the extra to get home and sleep for a few more hours. I guess I’m not in a rush to do anything, nor do I have a nagging wife back at home.
The alternative to drinking until the morning is staying at a capsule hotel, a karaoke club, spa world, or an internet café.
We chose the internet café because I wanted to check my email and possibly play some counter-strike. Unfortunately, there was no counter-strike (why does my life suck?), but the walls were covered with manga, open for all users. There were about 60 desks in the café and they are all divided off into small cubicles. You were given a computer, headphones, a nice leather chair, and a little stool for your foot. It wasn’t the most comfortable bed, but it only had to last me 3 hours before first train. I think 1100 yen for 3 hours overnight is a really good price – it includes free internet, drinks, manga, and a computer =). There might even be a food service and an available shower, so I think they expect many people to stay the night. It was quite the experience and it has been checked off my to-do list. Now that that’s over with, I think I’ll sleep in a place where I can actually lay down – a luxury I obviously had taken for granted here.
~See Lemons Meet new Travbuddies