So today is my first experience in a hostel. I have never seen such a low bunk bed in my life. I'm on the bottom bunk, which is literally 3 cm from the floor. There is a middle bunk for luggage, and a third bunk above it. There is barely enough room to crawl around on the bunk to put sheets on the futon. I made my bed, and met up with two girls from Amsterdam, and we went to explore the city. We are located near Gion, so it is a mixture of very traditional historic streets that are narrow and lined with small shops and restaurants, and big city buildings with lots of neon signs. There is a river near by, and we crossed bridges many times on our walk. Finally we found a good place to eat, and I ordered using my Japanese. The other two do not know a single word, so I seem to be an expert-good practice for me. The two (dirty) old men in the booth next to ours ordered beer for us (the other two, not me), and they tried drunkenly to speak English with us. It was an ok situation until he started patting my arm and saying how strong I was. Then we ignored him and he stopped bothering us.
We continued to walk after dinner and we found the river again. Many young people were gathered by the shore, and we weren't sure why. I asked some people and they said that they were just waiting. I don't know what they were waiting for, but they were waiting and meeting each other and talking. It also seemed to be a place where the youth would go and sit together in groups or as couples. Some other people were fishing by the light of the full moon. I don't know if there were many fish in the river or not, but it looked like a peaceful way to spend the evening. As we walked I think I saw two geisha entertaining two men on one of the high patios, they were sitting at a low table and pouring tea. Gion is the area famous for geisha.
So then my friends bought some refreshments and we're going to hang out on the patio on the 5th floor of the hostel. There are people from all over the world here, already I've met 2 from France, 1 from the Czech republic and 1 from England. I think it's going to be a fun few days here.
About the typhoon...supposedly it will arrive in Kyoto on Thursday and maybe it will last until Friday or Saturday, so I don't really know how bad it will be, Kyoto is not on the coast, so it will be a big storm, but not a huge disaster. I'm not planning on travelling when the typhoon is here, I'll stay put and read Harry Potter or something.
Off I go to the balcony now.