Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Urban Sketching : Lost in Osaka

The sketch above is one of the many cute little houses in the neighborhood that we stayed in.  It's available as a print on society6, as well as other sketches I've made over the course of our travels.

"You're really lucky you met us!" said the English speaking Japanese man who was driving us around the streets of Osaka.  He was right.  The chances of finding a friendly Japanese person willing to give you directions at 10PM are pretty decent.  Finding one that spoke English, was willing to call up your AirBNB host on his cellphone, and then drive you to your apartment?  Almost zero.

We had departed Kansai airport full of confidence.  This was, after all, our second trip to Japan, and I thought I'd done all the necessary research to get us to our apartment.  But the streets leading to our apartment near Sembayashi Omiya were tiny and complex, and we weren't sure which street to turn right into.  A bunch of Japanese teenagers excitedly sent us off on the wrong direction, giggling at their own mangled English.  We doubled back when we figured we had gone too far, and in a tiny street we saw an old lady watering her plants (at 10PM!).  After doing the commensurate charades, asking "doku desu ka?" and pointing at our printed google map, the old lady handed Aissa her garden hose and instructed her to keep watering the plants while she sorted the map out.

We watered her plants for a few awkward minutes until a car rolled by, driven by someone the old lady seemed to recognize.  She talked to the car's occupants before they opened the windows and asked in clear English if they could help us. Within minutes we were happily waving goodbye at Roger the friendly English speaking Japanese man and his wife as they sped home to tell all their friends about the silly Filipinos lost in Osaka.

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