Monday, June 20, 2016

Pictures and Maps and Bistritsa(Бистрица), Sofia(София), Bulgaria(България) - Carver

Here in Osaka, Japan, we are living in Tsurumi Ward. The nearest subway station is Kadomaminami. Or Tsurumiyokuchi. I'm not sure but every single time we go (which we have done once going into the heart of the city and once coming back to the Tsurumi Ward) we have used Kadomaminami. You may think this name is long but pay attention to the name of the subway line that ends at Kadomaminami (and is the only one that goes there.) It is the Nagahoritsurumiryokuchi Line. Different maps put dashes in different places in the name. The one with no dashes is what Google Maps says. Similarly, Kadomaminami in Google Maps is Kadoma-Minami but the maps in the subways say Kadomaminami. I have not, however, memorized the name Nagahoritsurumiryokuchi and I refer to it as The Long Name Line. But I intend to memorize the name of it. I memorize ridiculous things. In Cape Town, I memorized the names of all of the stops on the Southern Suburbs Line. I have forgotten much of them now although I could probably name all the stations up to Wittebome (2 stops down from Kenilworth, the stop we got off at.) Anyway, I might be getting a little off topic.

We went to the Thai Consulate on Friday to get a 60-day visa for Thailand. I thought ¥280 (which is about $2.80) would let you go as far as you wanted on any train line with any amount of transfers on the Municipal Subway and the New Tram Line as long as you don't leave a station. The New Tram Line is owned by the city as well as the Osaka Municipal Subway. Nagahoritsurumiryokuchi Line is part of the Osaka Municipal Subway. But no, at the ticket machines there was a map that showed every station, every line and the cost to get there from the station you were at. I looked at the cost to go to Morinomiya, the stop where we get off and get onto the Chuo Line (another line in the Osaka Municipal Subway) to go to Sakaisujihommachi Station near the Thai Consulate. But I didn't look at how much it would cost to go there. I only looked at the price to get to the transfer station. I realized this on the train to Morinomiya. You have to put your ticket in a machine at the start and end of your journey. If you don't put it in at the end, it will not let you out. I was worried that it wouldn't let us out because we had only paid enough to go to Morinomiya. However, there are machines to add more to your card for people stuck like that. However, what if it was broken? Later, on this same train, we realized that we had forgotten our passports so my Dad went home to get them and we would go to the consulate and do as much as we could without the passports. But he had all the money. He got off at Osaka Business Park to go on the train going the other way. This was one stop before Morinomiya. After the train left Osaka Business Park, we realized that. So I was super worried.
(Seven minute break to build up the suspense for anyone who thinks this is funny. If you don't care, you can just keep reading. (This is modeled off of the movies in Turkey where they take a seven minute break.))
We arrived at Sakaisujihommachi Station and it turns out that ¥280 is enough. Yay! But we still didn't have passports. But it turns out that even with passports we don't have enough of the stuff we need to apply for the visa. But then we explored Osaka. We went to a row of shopping like a souk in Turkey or Morocco. We spent much of the day there. We got tea flavored frozen yogurt which I disliked. And we have many pictures.
The row of shopping which we call Osouka (get it?)
This chef is mad that we ate Seven-Eleven corn dogs

If you want even colder beer, get a beer slushie

Not a Ferris Wheel, but a Ferris Oval
Packs of one carrot each
Someone put the McDonalds logo backwards

The street light is a man

Another human street light
Step One: Go Shopping

Step Two: Go to a Website

Step Three: Become a Zombie!
Yes, don't follow those three steps. The other thing I realized is that I never did a post in Bulgaria. It was a full house. And our closest bus stop was Cheshmata (Чешмата) which was up a road from our house. We were somewhat far from Sofia and even about a thirty minute walk from Bistritsa, the nearest city. Bistritsa also had the nearest grocery store. We could get bus 69, 70, or 98 although we never took the 69 or 70. One day we walked over a mountain (a small mountain) to get to a hot springs. Then we took a taxi home because the walk was longer than we had expected. But what I really loved was having a full house. I ran down the hall bouncing the little yellow ball all the time. There was no one under us. And there was outside. Unlike Lagonisi, the grass was not grass. It was whatever happened to grow. So there wasn't much to go to but we could just relax at home.

Anyway my three favorite places are Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria. And I liked them for different things. I don't know if Japan will be one of my favorites.


  1. Inquiring minds want to know why Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria were your favorites. I was your age when I visited these countries too and Turkey was my favorite due to all the ruins and hot tea out of a small glass. How about you?

    1. Well, I have different reasons for each. In Greece, I liked having a full house and my own room. I also really liked the area. There was a great pita place nearby. The beach was super close. And we were not in a city. In Lancaster, we lived in the suburbs and I miss being out of the city. In Turkey, I liked the area. It was an easy bus ride into the center of the city but the area was nice. We could go to a butcher or a baker or a nearby grocery store without taking a bus. I liked the hills as well. And in Bulgaria, I liked having such a big house and being out of the city. The hiking nearby was nice and we could just relax at home. We rarely went into the city.