Wednesday, March 6, 2013

San (3) and Sannomiya

Day 3.

I decided to go exploring a little on my own today. I didn't want to go sit through a game again since Brandon had just pitched. We ate breakfast together and then he left for the field. I did some chores around here then picked up the Living in Kobe guide book. Unfortunately most of the activities are for when the weather warms up so I will have to wait a few months. Instead I decided to head out to the busy shopping area in Sannomiya. (san o mia) I would be taking the JR train line instead of the Hanshin line that I had previously used the two days before. I got online to map my route to know exactly what time and train to be on. I studied the map quite diligently. I gathered the guide book, our Japanese cell phone, and Brandon's phrasebook and dictionary. At the expense of looking like a tourist, I didn't want to get lost.

I would say that the Sannomiya is one of the busiest stations. It is the hub to three different rail lines and I believe the subway. When I came up from underground there were people everywhere! So I just started walking until I found the shopping center I read about. I walked and walked and walked until I reached the end. Then I went up to the second level (mostly comic books an trading cards) and started back the way I came. It was like a giant shopping maze! There is a north south east west and central plaza. Then below all of this are the cafĂ© and bistros. I spent almost two hours walking around in and out of little stores. I don't even know if I got to see all of the shops. There is one little boutique that I loved and also an amazing shoe store. Definitely learning my shoe size in Japanese.

I LOVE the clothes and style here. It's pretty much anything goes. Everyone dresses different to their own style and taste. My favorite look that I have seen quite a bit is a dressy short with tights and heels. Excited to incorporate their style into my wardrobe. But not yet. I didn't buy anything. From what I noticed prices here are pretty comparable to stuff in the US. One thing I would like to find someday are some thrift shops.

I was thinking of being brave and grabbing some food but I just couldn't muster up any more courage than I had already used to find my way there. Outside almost all of the restaurants they showcase their dishes. Most of them all carry the same things, rice and noodles, curry, sushi, etc.

I decided I was done walking around and started to make my way back to the train station and then I discovered another whole street. I think most of these places were bars and nightclubs based on the trucks outside them unloading liquor bottles. The girls travel in groups and are often giggling. There were several little streets, more like alleys, that had restaurants and places I'm not quite sure what they were. I never felt unsafe walking around but I decided for the future, just to be safe, these little tucked away streets are for when Brandon is around.

I made it back to the train station and it seemed more foreign than before. There were people rushing in every direction. I found a place out of the way and got out map of the train routes. I had to make sure I was headed back in the right direction and I wanted to be 100% sure. Timidly I scanned my train card and proceeded to the platform. I let one train come and go so I knew it was going the right direction. Then I hopped on and felt a huge sense of relief come over me. I did it. I got back to the station where I had to transfer to the Rokko Liner ( the train line to and from our island) and my card wouldn't read and I couldn't get through the turn style. I tried three more times. I thought I had maybe ran out of money so I went to the kiosk and added another 1000 Yen. I tried again twice. Denied. I walked over to the two men that were on duty ,using my hands and a few words I explained what happened. He scanned my card in his computer, fixed what he needed and then using his hand directed me on through. Arigatou!! It's one of the words I know how to say and I pronounce it wrong in the heat of the moment. Fail.

Anyway, that was my adventure of day three. Maybe a little stressful but I made it there and back with minimal trouble and next time it will be easier. I made chicken alfredo for dinner and unpacked my suitcases. Right now our evenings are pretty laid back and I don't mind. Hopefully when the season starts the end of this month we can venture out together for dinners and entertainment. Until then I have to figure out what to do during the day. I know there is a jogging path around the island and we have a gym here in the building. It isn't free but it might be worth it so I have something to do during the day. I also think I spotted a dance school across the street maybe I can volunteer and there are some posters in the lobby for activities that I am going look through. One of the other wives is here with her daughter so I will probably be meeting her this week and we can spend time together.

I miss home and my dog! My mom updates me daily that he is doing just fine. I miss the food but I am finding different things to try each day at the store. Brandon is going to be my biggest cheerleader in helping me try new things. Last night we had to eat our pasta with chop sticks so when we go out to eat I'll know how. He made it look easy. He is fearless and tries everything at least once. I'm so jealous and again annoyed at him for that but inspired at the same time.

Until next time..

Sorry about all the cell phone pictures. For some reason I haven't figured out my camera photos have a hard time uploading.

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