27 Dec

The highs of Amsterdam dictated I needed a soft space to fall before home and Osaka will always be that place. I made my way from the airport (after the most polite bag search ever) to Shinsekai, my most beloved spot in the world, and crashed on the tatami of my tiny room.

On waking, I skittered about my favourite streets and lanes, pausing to eat takoyaki, buy little tschokes from a roadside stallholder and peer in windows before sitting down to eat a pancake dinner in a strange little cafe that rivalled Pellegrinis in its refusal to redecorate.

Osaka is still as beautiful as remembered. The cooing of the ladies on the train PA is still soothing. I still knew my way around, my favourite diners were still open and still serving my favourite food. The people still blush and smile without guile.

And the shopping is still amazing. I could spend my yearly salary and still not have my fill – forgetting how heady that first 24 hours of shopping is in Japan. From roadside trash vendor to boutique to department store, I would (and did) happily test the limits of my credit history.

For example, I fell utterly in love with the randoseru, a leather backpack for Japanese primary school students.

This is a randoseru:

For those unaware of the Amoir love stakes, here it is presented as a prioritised list:

  1. Randoseru
  2. Smoking
  3. Mashed Potato
  4. Dubliner vs Paul Banks in death match
  5. Sitting
  6. Butter
  7. Godzilla
  8. Misc. carbohydrates
  9. Zombies

I actually tried to purchase said love at Daimaru only to discover my credit card wouldn’t work. Why? Because I was trying to buy a bag worth A$800 after a month of living off said credit card. Also, I suck at converting currency.

This lead to much embarrassment and me exiting stage right to console myself with a pork cutlet sandwich while thinking the Seagull doesn’t need a bag worth more than her mother’s combined bag collection multiplied by oh, I don’t know, infinity. But if you see me in an ice-filled bathtub, missing a kidney and clutching onto a randoseru, you’ll know what’s happened.

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