Otsu Travel Blog› entry 11 of 14 › view all entries
December 23rd, 2004 – by: bcbusdriver
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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