We had two plans for today: go to the doctor to find out what has been wrong with me this las week and go to Kyoto to see the red maple leaves. We didn’t go to a doctor because after a week of uncomfortable pain and strange feelings, I was finally feeling fine today, so we figured it’s over and a doctor was no longer needed. We also didn’t go to Kyoto because of the heavy rain making it really hard to enjoy an outdoor activity like staring at trees. So instead we went to Kobe to just hang out and perhaps check out Chinatown. First thing we did was have lunch at a nice sandwich shop somewhere in underground (and dry from the rain) Kobe:
After a few hours of just sipping our coffee at the sandwich shop and talking about anything and everything, we finally set out to explore rainy Kobe a little bit. After a couple of shopping detours (like selecting a new business suit for Yasu at the Suit Company) we finally arrived in Chinatown when it was starting to get dark. It kind of reminded me of the Chinatown in Yokohama, only smaller.
Of course, the main thing tourists do in Chinatown is eat. There are food stalls everywhere selling the typical Chinatown treats and the most popular is and will probably always be the nikuman, a steamed bun with meat inside. Here in Kansai they are more commonly called butaman, and buta means pork, so I’m guessing the white buns are all filled with pork here. They have them in different sizes and colors, and they’re pretty good, but I will always prefer the Indonesian version, called bapao.
There is a small square in Kobe’s Chinatown, which really made me feel like we were in Chinatown in LA. I’ve never actually been to the real China, so I’ve got no idea if it feels like the real deal. The square had loads of restaurants and statues of all the Chinese zodiac signs, and we took pictures with our corresponding zodiac animal. In China Yasu is a pig and I’m a monkey.
After walking through tiny China, we killed a couple of hours at Starbucks before going to a cheap but tasty yakiniku dinner at Jonetsu Horumon. We paid like a 1000 yen each and got enough meat and veggies to throw on our mini table barbeque for a satisfying meal. Unfortunately we didn’t really get to enjoy it, because just before we entered the restaurant pain made its reappearance in my body.
Like last Monday, I felt intense shots of pain near my heart and it was really scary. We started to make plans to go to a doctor tomorrow, but the pain was so bad that we decided to go to a hospital today, because all the doctor’s offices are closed at 9 PM on a national holiday. Yasu called a hospital in Amagasaki and told them we were coming and why. It took us while to get there because I could hardly move and we were all the way in Kobe, and of course we got on the wrong train which delayed our arrival even further. When we finally got to the hospital it was already closed, but there was somebody waiting for us to open the door.
After an examination by the doctor and a lot of translation by Yasu, I was reassured there was nothing wrong with my heart and apparently also nothing with my lungs (not sure why he told me that), but that there was something wrong with my stomach and intestines, but what exactly I didn’t find out. He gave me some medicine for my vague stomach/intestine problem and my cold which he let me know I have too. If I don’t feel better after 3 days of medication I have to come back for some more serious treatment… So let’s just hope it’s over by Friday.