A Fascination With Public Restrooms

April 30 cont...

We arrived in Osaka about 7am.

I went up to the bus depot to ask about getting to Mt Koya but the depot was still shut so I went across the street into a shopping mall and found the Wheelchair Toilet. Being 8 hours away from Tokyo, I was fairly sure my mugshot hadn't yet been posted in bathrooms warning people of Strange Gaijin Behaviour in Public Toilets so I had another clean up, including clipping my hair, being meticulous in washing away the evidence.

The Wheelchair/Mothers Bathroom Suite was something to behold and could have had an entry fee and guided tour!!
The seat was warm and there were buttons everywhere. There were cables, two basins, mirrors and other things I was too scared to push in case I got pinned down and shrink wrapped!

While waiting for the bus depot to open, I went to a cafe and ordered Iced Coffee thinking I would get a creamy cold coffee with icecream in it like we do at home, but I got exactly what I asked for - a cup of water with only coffee and ice in it.
It was undrinkable to me, even after adding sugar.

Maybe I was deluding myself but I noticed that every time I put my pack on, my back seemed to resist less each time. Could it be accepting it and starting to make the pack a part of itself? I just hoped it had influence over my legs because they still buckled.

It was such a pleasure to have my eyesight - not having to bother with contacts or glasses - in or out or on, and being able to see signs.
If only I had thought to ask for the procedure that helps with translation of hieroglyphics.
The Christian lady had said I had beautiful eyes. I was chuffed for 5 seconds but, looking around, I could see there was an oversupply of Brown eyes and wondered how many other people knew about the black market demand for Gaijin Eyes.

I felt deja vu on the bus last night remembering back to when I hitch-hiked around the South Island of NZ, by myself, in the middle of winter. I don't know what triggered the deja vu but I did get lots of stares of perverse fascination back then that clearly said 'Why would someone do such a stupid thing?!' and I was getting those same three-headed-freak-show looks all the time here too.

It took a while yesterday for my mind and body to click back into that 'on-to-it' mode again where I needed to constantly plan ahead and anticipate my needs and potential (probable!) problems etc.

I've done this.

I could do this.

The reality of walking would be more challenging than last time because last time I hitch hiked, and even though I was open to hitching this time as well, cars couldn't take me up steps and mountain tracks!

So far, the clothes I'd bought with me had been perfect. Last night, outside the bus depot, the temperature would have been about 15 degrees and I was snug. I still had two layers I could have put on too.
My shoes were wearing in finally - and not an hour too soon.
Have I already said my Ice-Breaker was worth every cent my friends paid for it?!

I realised I had to make more of an effort to learn Japanese. Up till now I had been able to point to the phrase book (the author of the first Phrase Book deserved a Nobel!), but there is nothing worse than a Japanese person to feel shamed and when I pointed to 'What Station is this?' to the elderly (still breathing) woman beside me on the bus, she rested it on her nose and I was suddenly embarrassed to realise her eyesight was poor and she couldn't read it at all.

At the Bus Depot last night I was entertained by a constant catwalk of The Beautiful Girls. They really were beautiful, head to toe, extreme in their level of make-up and coiffure. Even the way they carried their bags was endearing with the straps resting in the crook of their arm and their hands facing up, like exotic waiters.
Almost every girl wore high heels of some sort, which I realised was why they linked arms when they walked together - they were holding each other up.

I tried not to worry about my cold. I'd been using Coldrex every 4-6 hours but when they wore off, I'd start coughing again and I could feel I'd damaged something to the right side of where my duodenum was. In fact - that was the main reason I took the pills - I didn't know the Japanese for 'Don't worry - it's only my lung, I'll clean it up later'.

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