Friday, September 10, 2010

5 Hours in Japan

The Harrington's had the good (or bad - depending on how you look at it) fortune of a long layover in Osaka, Japan. Excited for the opportunity to get a small taste of one more Asian nation, the couple ventured a ways out from the airport and enjoyed the quaint, quiet streets of Japan on a Sunday afternoon. First things first, the Harrington's made their way to what appeared to be a cafe. Needing some breakfast yet having absolutely zero Japanese language skills, the couple took a seat, smiled, pointed and whatdoyaknow - breakfast arrived. However, breakfast wasn't necessarily what they imagine breakfast to be, a small hot dog on a roll, eggs, and potato salad sat on Mike's plate while Melissa had much the same minus the hotdog, replaced with toast. The couple enjoyed breakfast as well as the many well-meaning Japanese women who wanted to have long and fast conversations with this clearly foreign and nod, then walk out the door.

Not having too much information on the area, the Harrington's made their way along the streets hoping to run into a castle they had seen marked on their map. As the approached the moat they were delighted by a couple joyful Japanese children catching cicadas - a lot of ruckus as well as entertainment.

The couple then toured a castle enjoying the sights of the city and seeing some traditional armor and swords. From castle tours to shopping malls the Harrington's were on a mission to find some sushi or some ice cream. Ice cream won and the Harrington's sat for a few moments enjoying their ice cream cones rather than discovering why there was a large grill as the center of the table they were seated at. With an upcoming flight it was time for the Harrington's to make their way back to the airport.
Returning to the airport proved a bit of an adventure as all ATM's rejected the Harrington's debit card and banks and money exchanges were closed. A few prayers later and the kindness of a Japanese stranger had their American money exchanged and their bodies boarding a train airport-bound. Good fortune continued following the Harrington's when they volunteered to give up their seat on their United Flight. Simply by volunteering they were given a pass to enjoy the Airport Lounge (complimentary wi-fi, drinks, snacks and gifts!) When asking further questions about their need to stay behind the Harrington's discovered that not all passengers had arrived on time and because they had so kindly volunteered to stay behind, they could now enjoy Business Class seats for their upcoming 12 hour flight -- not a bad deal!

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