Friday, November 23, 2012

Early morning in Osaka

The flight from Singapore to Osaka was easy; I arrived at the gate, had my seat changed to one 17 rows further forward than I'd been assigned at check-in, got on the plane and went straight to sleep, only waking to find myself watching a programme about dinosaurs at 5 in the morning. I don't think I've flown long(ish) haul with Jetstar before so it was a surprise to find they've got some in flight entertainment, even if it is only a screen hanging from the ceiling at the front of the cabin.

Landing in Osaka, I had various little panics, as I worried that I'd left my Kindle on my seat, or that my passport had me flagged as a notorious felon, or that my bank card wouldn't work and I'd be stranded, cashless, at Kansai International for the weekend. No such problems. In less than an hour I was on a train to Tennoji, trundling slowly through the outskirts of Osaka.

I never get over how rural it is on the way to the city; there are collections of low houses, and then fields of cabbages all planted in perfect lines, intermittently broken up by golf driving ranges, instead of the full-on techno mentalism that one often expects Japan to be. It's also grey and cold and there's some drizzle in the air, which is a big change from the perma-sun of Singapore. My nose is dribbling again: I wonder if I'm actually allergic to Japan. That would be rather inconvenient.

What will also be inconvenient is my time of arrival: I think I'll disembark in Tennoji with my huge yellow suitcase slap-bang in the middle of rush-hour, and then bumble around snuffling and sneezing until I find the train to the place where I'm staying. That isn't something that will endear me to the commuters of Osaka. Hopefully my wild-man beard and terrifying stare will convince them that I'm just another dopey gaijin and my inconvenience isn't on purpose.


Post a Comment