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June 13th, 2019

Osaka: June 13. The Move

Lots of minor annoyance today.

So the big thing was moving from my 1-week place to my 3-week place. Hallelujah, I've been moving every 1-1.5 weeks since early April and its not my favorite mode of travel. But, unlike most US Airbnb, these places are hardnosed about checking out at 10. But Japan has a solution: coin lockers! in or near many train stations.

But my nearest station didn't have big lockers, and the next one didn't have available big ones. It also had an elevator to the mezzanine but no elevator or escalator to the platform, whyyyy... But I got to Tennouji station, which did have available large lockers. Which I messed up using -- it's single-use, not use for a day -- so it cost me 1400 yen instead of 700. At least I was able to stuff both bags into one.

Then I had to decided what to do with the rest of my day. Thing is, this particular new home makes you go somewhere *else* to check in and get the passcode. A NYC place did that but the key locker was right around the corner, not a couple miles away. So I had that to look forward to. I thought about taking a day trip to Nara, but I also had my laptop in my backpack, weighing me down. So I ended up exploring the mall at Tennouji -- not my usual thing, but it's a huge chunk of the local commercial activity, also air conditioned. I found a Lindt! though at around $1 per chocolate ball, I'll pass. Found a supermarket with olive oil, butter (from Hokkaido), and various cheeses (including Brie) -- though no instant rice that I could find. Finally I hung out in a cafe reading Korra fanfic, which deserves its own post.

Then it was time to go get my entrance code. I found the kiosk and checked in... and didn't get a code. Got a success message, but the fields were blank. I complained. 5-10 minutes later I got a message with a code. So now I went to the home -- directly, because I didn't want to be stuck outside with my bags if this didn't work.

But it did, and then I discovered the home is like 12 minutes from Tennouji, so that was looking up. (There's a closer train station, but it's only a JR Loop station; being able to walk to Tennouji gives me more flexibility.)

Speaking of up, the stairs to my bedroom are very nearly a ladder. Nothing is up there except my bedroom, so going to the bathroom will be fun. OTOH, I might as well leave my bags downstairs, and just shower and change in the living room.

And yeah, I did go back for my bags, got food, brought the bags home, and here I am. Hopefully I'll sleep well (also, not fall and kill myself); the last few places all had the virtue of being quiet, but street noise penetrates this room easily. It's people street noise rather than cars, but that's maybe worse.

Other things:

* The house guide had the WiFi ID and password as the same. It is wrong, which is good for security; I tried the password in the strongest WiFi and that worked.

* I haven't seen anyone wearing a bicycle helmet in Japan. Maybe some small kid, I'm not sure, but pretty much no teen or adult. It's Dutch style biking -- in more ways than one: the usual posture is either fully upright or mountain (bent forward somewhat); I don't think I've seen a single road bike hunch. And everyone's biking in their regular street clothes.

* Japan drives on the left, but mostly stands on escalators on the right, like the British. As for walking or taking stairs, I'm not sure there's a strong pattern. Many station stairs are marked with up and down arrows, but they different ones put you on the left or the right. I wonder if in a country with less pervasive driving, "imitate what cars do" is less of a Schelling point.

* While waiting for a reply by the key locker kiosk, I looked at the magazine in the conbini. Lots of the big manga magazines like Shounen Jump. Mostly with sexy girls on the cover, you have to look inside to see it's not an adult magazine. (The actual porn ones are taped so you can't look inside... though I peeked at one and saw even more manga, presumably hentai.) I did find one with furigana by all the kanji, so I bought it in a fit of optimism about my studies.

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fanfic author: Unpretty

I mentioned reading a cool Korra fanfic: that's Icarus and the Sea, by Unpretty on AO3. This fic is Varrick/Zhu Li, long (a short novel) but quite good. Has both of their POVs. Sex scenes near the end, after they finally hook up, if that bothers you. [Oh, I've been reading the EPUB version, which apparently has more sex than what's on AO3.]

I'd discovered her via her Sorrowful and Immaculate Hearts, a whole bunch of DCU fics (mostly Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.) That's a series set in chronological order but each work is standalone; someone had recommended Empty Graves, which I liked, and then I picked out lots of shorter works until I trusted her enough to read her longer works. I'm not a particular DC fan, but I enjoyed them a lot. If you know the basic 'facts' about the characters then I think that suffices, though there'll be the occasional minor character detail you don't fully appreciate. They're mostly 'human interest' stories, rather than drama with fights and such.

Some out of context quotes:

"Is Superman from Texas?"
"For that to be true," Batman said, "it would need to be possible for a man to be from Texas without telling anyone about it for years."

"Maybe you could give people tips to be successful?" Danny suggested.
"Based on personal experience you should try being born a white billionaire with a Type A personality and a need for external validation that can never be satisfied because your parents are dead."

"Look at this thing. Baguette toasts. What is a baguette toast? I want to shove myself in a locker for this."
(A new Robin has an identify crisis with Alfred's idea of Lunchables.)

Robin-1 to Robin-2:
"Your job is to take care of the genius whose solution to gun violence was to put himself in front of all the guns."

"What, ya just throw rubbers at randos tryin' to fuck in alleys?"
"Sometimes."
Harley laughed loud and hard at the thought of someone getting hit in the head with a condom like a batarang.

"If I see any scenery worth pissing on, I'll be sure to let you know."
"That won't be necessary."
A crudely made wooden sign came into view in the field beside the road. It had a lot of opinions about what constituted sin and what happened to sinners.
"I see some scenery," Bruce said.

"I do not brood."
"Based on the number of birds you've raised, you must."
Bruce groaned audibly.

"I'm imagining the worst fight," he admitted.
"Hawkman and a mirror."

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