the tale of the jitensha

Found the music store yesterday, thank goodness. Bought a tuner, capo,
slide, and some picks to replace what I left in Baltimore. Didn't find
wireless but the cable guys came this afternoon, so I'm good.

So: the tale of the jitensha...

Andy, gaijin-liason for my landlords, had suggested a nearby bike store
with a used selection at good prices. I found a decent one at 5500 yen
(interestingly, it was what we'd call a girl's model in the states, but
that doesn't seem to apply here) and decided to buy it.

The shopkeeper had about as much English as I have Nihongo. And there was a
form to fill out. Apparently bikes have to be registered (which,
fortunately, I remembered from a conversation on a previous visit; I
wouldn't have gotten the idea otherwise, and might have tossed the paper he
gave me.) But the shopkeeper was a good nihonjin, full of ganbatte - "go
for it", "don't give up" - and wasn't going to let language stand in the
way. So we made it work.

Then, yesterday, as I mentioned, I took the train into Umeda. I biked down
to the station and parked nearby - in, as it turned out, a space you had
pay for. I came back to find my bike effectively booted, chained to the
railing, with a red tag in Japanese on it that I couldn't puzzle out.

I called Andy, and he met me at the office, where we presented the ticket
to the nihonjin staff who helped me figure it out. Domo arigato gozaimasu
to Andy and the Takechi Sangyo staff for their help, which enabled me to
unchain my new bike after paying a modest fee (under 200 yen) to the
attendant.

This evening, made contact with Liz, Robin's friend whom I met previously.
Tomorrow we'll rendezvous for a New Age fair, which sounds fascinating.
Then made my way down to Shinsaibashi.Looking for a bar I recalled called
Savannah, a jazz/blues/Southern themed place I recalled from my last visit.
Seems to be longer extant, though, so I found another place I remember,
Cinquecento, a martini bar where every drink is 500 Yen, nice laid back
place.

Missing Cathy, missing the dogs, missing home a little bit already. Did I
really sign up for three months here? Ah well. Buy the ticket, take the
ride, as HST used to say. All part of the experiment. Remove the organism
from its accustomed environment, to determine what behaviors are innate and
which conditional. Another type of "self-induced brain change", as RAW once
put it.

Right now,I think I will change my brain some more with another vodka
martini.

... time passes ....

The bar is nearly empty when I arrive. Suddenly, around 10:30, an influx of
people makes it lively. Maybe the fact that it's less than an hour to last
train has something to do with it...I don't know. I take a photo for a
gaijin guy here with three women - nice work if you can get it...

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