I am in Osaka right now, taking in some sightseeing during Golden Week. Golden Week in Japan is when there are three consecutive holidays in the middle of a week so you can pretty much call the entire week a bust in regard to work. So I took advantage of the opportunity to come to Osaka. So far, I have gone to the Osaka Aquarium, rode the giant ferris wheel and visited Osaka Castle. The Aquarium was okay but super crowded with too many small children. Note to fellow travelers - don't go during GW. Also, while they had the expected fish, sharks and dolphins, it was still kind of depressing seeing their captivity. If you have seen The Cove, you will know what I am talking about. It made me question where those dolphins came from. I still think that Cape Town had the nicest aquarium I have ever been to - barring my dislike for animal captivity. It was impossible to enjoy it when you are trying not to get elbowed. They even spaced out the tourists so that the traffic would flow better but that didn't seem to help much. And parents, note to you: do not put your child up on your shoulders so they can see better!!! You are cutting off the views of the people behind you! When you have that mob mentality, it's survival of the fittest tourism and I prefer the laid back version.
The ferris wheel was fine and did everything it promised to do - that is, turn in a big circle and allow for a few photo ops. And then I headed to the castle, which is pretty but would probably be even more amazing during cherry blossom season, which just passed a few weeks ago.
I saw a Subway for lunch and became super excited for a healthy American-style lunch. I was in for a rude awakening. I ordered the #3 sandwich - a chicken and cheese 6 in. sub with the works on it. It was when I was about to pay, I realized that they had prepared three sandwiches for me! And the resulting conversation was like a bi-lingual version of Abbot and Costello's Who's on First?
Me: Sorry! Just one sandwich.
Sandwich Artist: You wanted three?
Me: No, I wanted one #3.
Sandwich Artist: So, you wanted three.
Me: No, I wanted one.
Sandwich Artist: One?
Me: Yes, I wanted one #3, the chicken and cheese.
Sandwich Artist: You want three?
Me: No, I want one.
Sandwich Artist: One?
Me: (Giving up on life) One.
I am sure that they thought I was an idiot. It is apparent that Japanese Subway shops do not pay attention to the numbers of sandwiches like its American brethren. But then again, why would they think I want three sandwiches? And why do they put a cheese paste on their subs rather than the real deal? So many unanswered questions.