We Visit Dotonbori, I Nearly Die

I remember learning how to walk.

Nobody believes me.

WHY would I make this up?  What possible benefit could there be, to remembering how to walk?  (Aside from the obvious practical life skill.)

I remember mom kneeling in the kitchen area, and dad in the dining area, both emphatically coaxing me to take one step, then another, let go of their hands, trust them, give it a shot, walk on my own.  And then I did it, and they acted ridiculously proud of me.  I remember this!

There’s something else I remember from when I was quite young, too.  And again, it’s something NOBODY believes.  Nevertheless, I’ll tell you.  When I was very young, like single-digits-young, I liked to imagine the person I might someday marry.  When I daydreamed about who this might someday be… I pictured someone tall and lean, with kind, intelligent eyes and a shock of thick blond hair.  Someone… very much like Andrew.

SEE?  You don’t believe me either!


Well whatever.  There’s no way to prove any of this.  Obviously I didn’t picture him precisely.  I had not met him yet.  But somehow when I met him for real, it all made such sense.

It’s kind of funny, because it’s been said that you always get what you’re not looking for.  Even though I daydreamed about possibly meeting someone like Andrew someday, I never actually expected it to happen.  I expected to have much more success in the platonic friendship department, and much less success in the romantic lifelong commitment department.  But weirdly enough, it’s worked out completely the opposite.  I’ve never been a bridesmaid.  Never ever.  It’s like the complete opposite of the “always a bridesmaid never a bride”.  For me, it’s “never a bridesmaid always a bride” (you know, because I’m Andrew’s bride, and we’ve been newlyweds for over 13 years now YEAH).  And so yeah…  I truly married the man of my dreams.  And I never thought that would happen.

Soooo… segue to today’s topic: the time Andrew thought he’d accidentally killed me.

(Side-note: I may have to work on my segues.  And yes, that IS the way it’s spelled, look it up.)

We visited Japan in 2008.  When we were planning our trip, we happened to see that Simpsons episode wherein Homer eats poison fugu.

Fascinated, Andrew researched the fugu phenomenon and declared he wanted to eat the poisonous puffer fish while we were in Japan.

“No!”  I said.

Then after some time, I added dramatically, “We will eat it TOGETHER.”

Because I don’t want to live without him.  *romantic*

So anyway, off we went to Japan.  Midway through our trip, we were in Osaka, and ventured out one night to explore Dotonbori — a particularly colour-and-light-saturated part of the city, which apparently inspired the futuristic sensory-overload setting for Blade Runner.


I think you can see what I mean already…

erin street-1

It was actually kind of a bit much for me at first… my prairie-girl eyes didn’t know where or how to focus.

glico man-2

This is the Glico Man — a very famous landmark in Japan.  Also… Glico curry is delicious and easy to make at home.  Yay!


There are MANY daring restaurants.  You know what they serve because of their flamboyant animatronic replicas of their speciality, clinging to the storefront.


This would’ve been delicious.  Looking at these pictures makes me want to rush back.

dragon gate-5

Here’s “Dragon Gate”.  I’m pretty sure it was an anime book shop…

creepy monkey-6


Interestingly, the purveyor of this establishment seemed to feel this was an excellent way to entice hungry patrons to step inside.

If this image haunts your nightmares, please accept my deepest apologies.

building boat-7

To cleanse your memory from that terrible monkey, here’s a building that looks like a freaking BOAT.  I ask you, how awesome is that?!?


The street runs along a river… and while we were there, we witnessed this fantastical parade of boats on the water!  Literal floats, as it were.  There were many, all different…

I was overwhelmed…

erin river-9

You’d think I’d look happier.  I was probably still trying to shake the image of that stupid monkey from my memory.


Okay… so was that place selling dragon meat?

Further down the street, you come to an area touting an entirely different kind of meat…

sex machine-11

Riiiiiiiight.  We found this hilarious.

fugu sign-12

And… here’s a puffer fish!  All those lights and whatnot were wearing me down, making me feel reckless.

“Let’s eat fugu!”

We went inside, ordered, received our food, Andrew took a bite.

fugu 3


Then I took a bite.

A part of the crispy breading went down the wrong pipe.

I fell into a fit of violent coughing.

When I’d regained my composure, and wiped the tears from my eyes, I saw Andrew sitting across from me, looking stricken, horrified.

“I thought you’d been poisoned!”

“Oh no,” I waved my hand dismissively.  “I just ferschluked.  A little beer and I’ll be fine.”

erin fugu-14

We then proceeded to laugh our asses off.



2 responses to “We Visit Dotonbori, I Nearly Die

  1. I’ve still never been to Osaka — this makes me want to go!

    F.Y.I. Dragon Gate is a Pachinko parlor (パチンコ & スロット = “pachinko & surotto” on the sign). And, the “dragon meat” store is called “Ginryu Ramen” it’s a famous Ramen shop in Osaka.

    I really enjoy reading your blog! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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