We lost Thursday somewhere over the Pacific.
Osaka Travel Blog› entry 7 of 251 › view all entries
March 28th, 2008 – by: cmgervais
The flight from O'Hare to Seoul was about 12-1/2 long hours. I had very high expectations of our business class seats due to the Asiana website which shows seating compartments practically as big as my first apartment. Unfortunately, we had an older plane, which was nothing like the ones shown on the website. And I didn't get much sleep along the way -- they kept waking me for feedings. I am not complaining, just reporting the facts. The highlight was the Korean meal, called Bi Bim Bap.
The Asiana lounge in Seoul was huge and deserted when we arrived at 4 am. There were lots of interesting beverages (labeled in Korean, but with a few English words ...ie "Feel Good Vitamin C!") I tried to sample them all but failed -- too many. I did get my fair share of Vitamin C though. We then retired to individual sleeping rooms, which were fully equipped with super high tech massage chairs, complete with an enormous incomprehensible remote control. I could only take 20 minutes of The Chair, but it was a good kind of pain. Breakfast started around 7, and they served various salads and steamed vegetables (I can tell Korea and I are going to become good friends), eggs, and miscellaneous breads.
Finally our 5 hour wait was over and we boarded the plane - aha! There are those fancy chairs from the website. And just as good as we expected. The flight was only 1-1/2 hours (I wanted it to last longer because of the chairs), but during that short time they managed to served a full meal with real china and linen, wine, and coffee service afterwards. Somehow I ended up with a hamburger/rice omelet, but I wasn't hungry anyway.
Our arrival and customs in Osaka went very smoothly. We even got cash and found the correct train to Namba station with a minimal amount of gawking about. From the station, it was an interesting walk through a covered street mall area to our hotel, the Namba Oriental. I have been to Japan before but forgot what a shock the culture is. Sights, sounds, smells, food: nothing is what you are used to.
We checked into the hotel (room: small but adequate, and completely smoke free) and tried to get organized. Steve, my favorite tech geek, connected a cool device that plugs into our Internet connection and creates a wireless signal that we both can use (yes, we have two computers with us). But we really couldn't stay in the room long lest we "take a nap..." so out we went.
It seems every packing tip I found said "don't bring jeans." So I didn't bring jeans. First thing I did in Osaka? Buy a pair of jeans. Amazingly, the first pair I tried on fit perfectly, length and all! This never happens to me.
At this point we were both sore and exhausted, so we stopped in to an pub for Kirin and Guiness (about $9/pint - yikes!). It tasted great but the smoke was overwhelming, and we didn't last long. Back to the room and the unsuccessful attempt to stay awake until at least 9 pm...
It is 3:30 am as I write this (1:30 pm at home) and I am wide awake and ready for lunch. I read somewhere that every hour of time change causes one day of jet lag. In that case, look for me to become more coherent in these postings somewhere around April 9 :^).
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