Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Penguins in Osaka?


You always know it's a good time when penguins are involved...

Arriving in Osaka, Scott and I realized it was a holiday in Japan. So it felt like Boxing Day, with hoards of Japanese greedily buying unecessary items just because of a large red SALE sticker or because they were enticed into the store by a young, scantily clad Japanese woman screaming like a bleating sheep over a megaphone.


Mostly it was young girls shopping, wearing the requisite Teen Skank Uniform of Japan - bare legs under a mini jean skirt with something hanging off it (fur, chains or charms), some t-shirt with gold applique or a Bedazzler motif, a short puffy jacket with a fur lined hood and tall high heel cowboy boots that make for ridiculous bowlegged, zig-zaggy, heel dragging, almost toppling over, painfully slow walking. There are so many of them. They must be clones. They freak me out.

We grabbed some ramen and wandered through arcades watching guys play videogames with names like Guitar Freak, Drum Master, Drunken Bar Fight and some game with DJ turntables. After lunch we went to Osaka castle. Like pretty much every other major castle, shrine or temple in Japan, it's a replica of the original. Pretty much everything was destroyed in an earthquake, a bombing during the war or was burned down by some zealot religious freak. It's too bad, but the replacement castle looked nice and was shiny.

That night Scott and I joined Meg for some Yakatori, octopus balls and many beer and then slept in what must be the world's smallest hotel room.
The next day Scott and I ventured to the Osaka aquarium, which my guide book say is the world's largest aquarium. What it also failed to mention is that it is also the world's COOLEST aquarium!! I was sold the second we walked up and saw Emperor penguins waddling out front like drunken frosh, just hanging out, peeing on the fake snow and every once in a while screeching before flipping onto their belly. I am so down with the penguins. I LOVE them (as many of you know who have met 'Guin, my penguin golf club cover).

The aquarium had lot to see underwater, including a whale shark, otters, more penguins (!!!), sea lions, a bunch of freaky fish and about a billion dirty, screaming Japanese kids, who were awfully pushy and shreaked a lot. Don't worry. Whenever one of them pushed past me (yeah, I want to see them feed the otters too kid!), I made sure I shoved them back. Hard. These Japanese kids know not to mess with me, even if they are my size. I kicked some ass in that aquarium. I could have spent the whole day watching fish and shoving Japanese kids, and I was even more excited when I got to pet a live shark before we left.

Penguins, whale sharks, shoving Japanese kids...Osaka kicks ass.

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