Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You get what you pay for

Waking up on our last morning with Divyam, we were off to Osaka to pick up our Chinese visas and spent the night watching a bunraku puppet show.  Aside from learning that it’s ok for grown men to play with puppets in ladies’ dresses, it was a window into Japanese discipline to watch the narration, the Shamisen player, and the puppets move in perfect unison. 

We hit the road early the next day to speed straight away to Hiroshima to visit the Peace Park and Miyajima.  Little did we know that our JR (Japan Rail) passes, although much cheaper than the Shinkansen (bullet train) passes, were next to useless in terms of getting us from one city to another.  6 ½ hours and 3 transfers later we found ourselves in Hiroshima, much too late to see anything that we had wanted to.  The kicker is that it would have taken a little over an hour on the Shinkansen.  I was reminded of how a friend who lives here once told me that Japan is great but you have to be prepared to spend money to enjoy it: a lesson that has made itself felt more painfully each day we were here… 

At dinner later that night, we made the best of the situation by finding Tia some oysters (I take full credit for turning her on to them when we were in Sydney) for which Hiroshima was renowned.  They came roasted and were delicious.  As I idly squeezed lemon onto an oyster shell and Tia looked at me with utter astonishment, I realized that we have reached that point in our marriage where we don’t care if we look like complete morons to one other.

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