Travel Day 19: Osaka – Nothing teaches gratitude like not being able to do what one enjoys.

Happy Friday People!

Travel day 19 of 2014 had me waking up at 4:30am in Osaka, Japan after a typical Japanese business dinner.   Japanese sake has no preservatives, so one doesn’t wake up with a headache.  It took about 6 hour and a lot of baby aspirin to relieve the headache I didn’t have.

The meeting for the day took up about four very intense hours and then we went out for lunch (more sushi).  After that, I was free to go back to my hotel.  I packed my bags for tomorrows train trip and decided to take a walk to the nearby Nike Store.

Because it is so humid, I put my running clothes and strapped on my Garmin to take it on a test run.  My Garmin has miraculously recovered from whatever problems it had on Monday when I was in China.  Were I a conspiracy theorist, I would think that maybe the PRC doesn’t want people using unauthorized tracking tools, but that would just be nonsense (This is why they don’t give me access to WordPress in China).

Seems Clear Enough
Streets are a No Smoking Zone

Very quickly, my walk became a run. This was the second run this week and the second since the Big Sur Marathon. I didn’t think the calf would be ready to run again, but it was.    I was able to take some big long strides down the streets of Osaka for as long as my diminished fitness would allow.  It felt wonderful to open up and be able to take a full stride.  City running is fun, except for all the stopping at red lights.

It was about 3km to the Nike Store where I found a few things for the family.  I spent like a billion yen, I’m not sure how much that is in dollars, but I am sure I will hear [it] from my wife the transaction post tomorrow.

One the way home, I saw a Starbucks with a sign for a Marble Carmel frappuccino with JELLY.  Yes, chunks of jelly IN the drink.   Although I am usually a person who goes for the skinny drinks, this had to be tested and it was oh so fun to suck up the jelly.

A Jelly Cappuchino
A Jelly frappuccino and Tiramisu

I think it might have been better as a peanut and jelly frappuccino, but what do I know?  I also had a piece of tiramisu.  Don’t judge, I’ve eaten according to everyone elses rules this week.  In China, one does not eat all the food on the plate at is potentially awkward for the host.  In Japan, one eats whatever is put in front of one whether it is still moving or not.   This was a chance to have just a little moment of self-determination in a week of being a perpetual guest.

As I walked out of Starbucks the skies opened and the rain poured down in buckets.   I ran into a nearby Apple Store to check out the inventory.  It was interesting to see a Japanese Genius Bar and all the users all nicely queued up.

As the storm passed, I made my run back to the hotel.  Surprising the knee and calf did not tighten up as they have during the past six months.  Perhaps this time off from running is helping them recover.   Nothing teaches gratitude like not being able to do what one enjoys.

Siesta in Osaka
Siesta in Osaka

It’s about 7:30pm now. I am packed and ready to hit the road in the morning. I have back to back phone calls with California and Europe starting at 10pm tonight.  But first, I need some dinner.  There is a sushi bar across the street that makes a nice presentation of some good sushi.  As presentation is very important here in Japan, I thought I would share how my dinner was presented.

Presentation of my take-out
Presentation of my take-out

If nothing else, the first work week is over. Tomorrow is a travel day and if the cooperates, Sunday will be a really awesome day.

Peace People!

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Travel Day 19: Osaka – Nothing teaches gratitude like not being able to do what one enjoys.

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