"Get your little ass back to the penitentiary, motherfucker. You know what you did last time you was here."

After around 9 and half hours of night flight and hardly any sleep I finally made it to the Kansai International Airport. I would describe the immigration procedures as exaggerated; the air hostesses gave us two sheets of paper to fill in the plane, one for debarkation information and another one for customs. Once we had landed, the security and customs inspection took both of the cards, my fingerprints and a facial portrait. Well, at least homeland security isn’t compromised. After finishing the somewhat tedious post-landing paperwork and letting the airport security know more about me than I thought I knew myself, I was finally able to get out to meet my friend Shingo who was waiting for me at the exit.

As the seminar housing provided by Kansai Gaidai isn’t available until Saturday, we booked me a hotel room in what Shingo later realized to be a “slum area”, but at least I was able to get a cheap single room with free internet (!!) and, as an added bonus, free slippers. With two nights at ¥5600 total, it’s cheaper than anything I’ve been able to find in Europe until now.

Just like home

Although I was tired as shit after the long flight and week-long pre-departure partying, we decided to take the train to Osaka-Jo Park for starters and go eat something afterwards. I guess now could be a good time to comment about the weather. I am haunted by it. The forecast for the whole week is from 25 to 30° Celsius, cloudy and rainy. Now that doesn’t really say anything, because although the temperature isn’t that high, the air is so humid that anytime you walk around the city you feel like being in a bad sauna. I am not used to bad saunas. That relative discomfort was quickly countered by a few cans of beer as we walked around the park only to get annoyed by the weather again and head back to the train station. We finished the quick train tour by eating ramen near the Osaka main station. By that point I was already getting so sleepy that I decided to call it a day and go back to the hotel to rid myself of the jetlag. I gave Shingo the few things I had brought with me from Finland as he left to go home.

Mental note: As some people had already warned me, I am much taller than the average here, and that fact, added to my zombie-like state, made me hit my head thrice, once at the hotel and two more times while entering the train (not the same train, mind you). I really have to learn to lower my head or I’ll be dead within a week.



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