Day 5 : Lost in translation

Well, it had to happen at some point…

It was the first day that I went out (to Osaka) alone. And boy oh boy are ones language skills pushed to the it’s limits. When I was in Osaka with friends it was easy, just follow their cues, buy whatever trainticket you need to buy, and if you can’t say something they will help you out or even take over the conversation to get what you want. But today, I could not rely on others and had to speak for myself.

After reaching the Umeda area (Osaka central, the business district) I walked around expecting to see some familiar places and walk till I found the stores I wanted to see again. In this case the electric city in Nipponbashi, also known as Denkiyasan. Was I in for a shock when I did not find any of those at first. It was hard to explain I wanted to go to the electric city, since I had forgotten the name of the area. After asking, fruitlessly, about the area, and walking around town for two hours I bumped into a Pokemon center.. And found out I was still in the area of Umeda.. The Pokemon made me give up on my stubbornness and I searched online (on my phone) for the area; Wikipedia to the rescue!

But don’t think that a language-barrier will stop the Japanese people from helping you! I mean, I’ve never met such a helpful civilization in my life. When I asked about what platform to go to to catch my train, the guy followed me to tell me I had to get out after five stops. As soon as he told me, he turned around and went back up the escalator to get back to whatever he was doing at the station. The trend of telling exactly what I needed to do did not stop there. At Osaka the people also explained exactly how many stops and what color to follow. (The railways have their own color to tell you what direction your going.) When I finally arrived at Nipponbashi, it was back to business as usual! Shopping!

What I could not find in the shops, my friend びびんば (or, びビールば as I so lovingly like to call him) supplied:
Kagami – Tokyo disco Music / こんや の 東京 ディスコ,


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