Family time

Otsu Travel Blog

 › entry 11 of 14 › view all entries
The family.
Akiko, Akiko's mom and I all left Osaka and headed towards Lake Biwa for some family time.  New Years is a much biggest family holiday in Japan then Christmas but since we would be heading back home then the family moved the party forward.  We met in a city called Otsu which was the home of Akiko's sister and her family.  Also coming was her brother and and his family so the place was going to be crowded, good thing the condo was a bit bigger then the common sized Japanese apartment. 

At some point trying to understand all the Japanese and being a bit crowded I ask if it was ak for me to go for a walk.  Most of the family was very concerned I would have some troubles as Otsu is not very English friendly but Akiko told them I was great at directions and I would be fine.  That ended up being a bit of bad luck as you will find out.

I went for a walk along the river and just kind of wandered without paying attention.  One of the funniest things happened as I was walking.  I came across a minor construction site that had closed the sidewalk.  There was a middle aged worker there directing traffic and pedestrians and I could see him getting worried as I walk closer.  It was quite obvious were to walk and what he needed me to do but he made great big hand signals and I was afraid he was going to try to hold my hand as I walk past.  He looked so happy when I thanked him in Japanese and walked where he wanted me to. 

It was time for me to feed my cola addiction.  Generally it is not hard ot find a vending machine in Japan but this area did not seem to have one that was obvious.  So I sort of wandered some more until I found a machine just outside a daycare.  Now the problem was I needed to head back and really had no idea where I was.  I could sort of see the area I needed to go but there was a large river in the way and a lot of railway tracks.  I did manage to find a way across the river but now I could not see the building I needed to go.  I was lost and was not sort how many people in this area could speak English enough to help me.  Of course I could not even tell them the address as I had no thought to write it down. 

After what seemed like a couple of hours of stress I found the building and had a new problem.  Like all modern buildings this one had a security system that requires you to use an intercom to talk to a the tenant who hopefully will buzz you into the building.  The trouble was the directory was in Japanese and while I can speak a few words and might even recognize my own name in kanji there is no way I was going to be able to read these names.  Like a common thief I just waited for someone else to enter the building and followed them up.  I guess I looked safe as they did not seem concerned when I followed them in.

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The family.
The family.
photo by: bcbusdriver