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Oh man, Osaka..

but Media Cafe Popeye!


My first impressions of the place are pretty ordinary. However to be fair, I've seen but very little of the area and I am staying in a rough part of town. It doesn't seem as safe as the other places I've been. There're a lot more lecherous and shady looking characters and it is dirty and run down.

I took a stroll this afternoon through an alleyway arcade parallel to my hotel that has grimy eateries and dreary looking merchandise. It smelt like all kinds of piss and vomit. Some guy came up to me with a girl hanging off his arm while I was watching a sumo bout playing on the TV through a shop window. He was asking me all these things, and I was shrugging my shoulders saying wakarimasen gomenaci, sorry I don't understand. They were laughing and he persisted talking at me. Finally they walked off, towards their friend who was also laughing. He was making fun, it wasn't hard to spot. Oh well, whatever.

I got into Osaka last night and it is grimy. Nothing like the places I've stayed prior. The streets are quite filthy and although I had been warned that some Japanese have no qualms about spitting in the street, I'd not witnessed it until I came here. There are people spitting all over the joint, one time I had to check myself because I thought I'd actually been spat on. Man it makes me retch when I hear people hocking and I have to quickly distance myself from the impending phlegm ball.

The hotel I'm staying at is depressing. It's a thrilling shade of bland. My room is the size of tinned fish and there is one shower to share among a myriad of guests, who like me, refuse to use the public bath. This pretty much includes all the foreigners. Hopefully getting a shower before noon is not an impossibility and I'll have better luck today.

There's no real common room, so there's not much opportunity to meet other guests, unless you happen to share the excruciatingly slow elevator, during which time you could conceive three children. Maybe if I ride it all night I'll get lucky. There is an internet space with three computers, but it's hardly sufficient.

Thankfully, this last drawback lead me to discover my current situation, which is way cool. I came into Dotombori, a major night life district of Osaka, with the intention of finding the internet cafe I spotted last night. Before I could relocate that place I found Media Cafe Popeye, a 24hr internet, pool hall and ping pong table joint. You can choose from a variety of seating, I chose the reclining chair. I've got my own little cubicle that I can seal off. In it is a TV, safe, foot rest, coat hanger and slippers. The place is quite large and along all the walls run stocks of books, managa comics and movies. Hundreds of them. You can buy noodles, snack food and toiletries. The drinks are free, and they're not shitty either. You've got slurpies and soft drink of every variety. Woo! They even have a vending machine selling hot food (no thanks). So you can eat, drink, smoke and sleep in your own little cubicle (they also have porn magazines and sell mens underwear, so there's also something else you can do in the privacy of your cubicle. EWWW!). They've got soft jazz piping through the place, and except for the occasional snoring neighbour, it's really relaxing. And so much better than my arranged accommodation. I don't care how much it costs, I'm spending the night here.

Posted by kitschikat 11:18 Archived in Japan Tagged backpacking

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