I just had one of the most delicious dishes. I am in a nice little bar located in Shinsaibushi (an area in Osaka). I am in awe of the culture here. The bar mate Takahiro (not sure if correct spelling) is a gracious host and has treated me admirably.
The dish I had was a Taiwanese curry dish. Takahiro made it himself, he’s the cook, bartender, he does it all. The place is quite small and only holds about 15 to 20 people. The bar itself only seats five. I try my best to converse with my fellow patrons they are nice but we can only make basic conversation. This in itself is refreshing to me. There’s no room for trying to impress one another. We are to busy focusing on not trying to make fools of ourselves. Me, trying not to completely destroy the Japanese language and them trying to understand me and answer me correctly.
There is music playing in the bar as well. It seems to be a mix of some kind of soul music, it is really laid back. I am pretty sure the language is Japanese also. To my surprise the owner is a Robert Johnson fan. He has an extensive catalogue of Johnson. Listening to something so familiar in a strange place is somehow surreal.
While sitting in the bar there were many moments where I forgot where I was.
The bar itself is located 3 stories above street level and completely sound proof. The happenings of the shopping centre below are phased out as soon as entering the establishment. Coincidently Takahiro lives in the bar/restaurant.
I am writing while in the place now, I must be sure to get the name of the place and a few pictures.
I am smiling while I write this entry…..It is so relaxing and I love it. I absolutely love it. Everything is new and wondrous to me, I’ve several meals and didn’t even know what the hell was in them.
Listening to the unknown language occurring in the background, while i write this, is profound. It’s innocent and it doesn’t matter what is actually being said.
Right now there is the bar owner, two men and a young woman who just entered.
They all converse like long lost friends and laugh every so often. I don’t even care if I am the butt of some of the jokes. Simply being in the presence of them is worth being the butt of a few jokes.
I am on the outside, an outsider. Even if I did speak the language I’d still be so far away and that’s ok. The beauty of this feeling is connected to the fact that I am an outsider. I get to observe and be envious of them and their relationships.
I met two more folks in the bar today. It is now 9:35 pm and I think I’ve been here since 3:00 pm. One is a French man with a stubble beard and thick accent, not Quebec either we are talking about the authentic French accent. We exchange stories of our travels through Japan including our slip ups. He lives in Taiwan and works in the IT industry.
Another is a woman and she is Japanese. She speaks English very well and I hear a hint of British accent. I am a bit to shy to ask her if she is from there so I just imagine that she has spent some time there in her past.
We talk for hours and hours and time flys by quickly. My experiences in Osaka have exceeded my expectations I could not be happier with how things have gone.
11:00pm and we have just finished a anime/manga conversation. The manga/anime culture here is a beautiful thing. Learning the difference between anime in France, Japan and Canada is crazy. Canada is such a protective country compared to France and Japan, at least in terms of anime….
2:00am I bid farewell to Takahiro and the others and make my way back to my hotel.