My brother’s gone back to London; he left this morning. It’s nice to have my own space back, because my flat is really small—only one room, really—and living in the same space for two weeks was quite a shock! On the other hand, I do miss him. It’s nice to have some company around, even if it’s only to share a joke, read out a funny line or whatever. It seems really lonely here on my own tonight.

However, my parents have come over to Japan for a fortnight, too. Coincidentally, they arrived on the same physical aircraft that, after refuelling, turned around and took my brother on his return journey. We managed to meet up for about half an hour; enough time for a coffee and a brief chat together.

After that, we went to my parents’ hotel to drop off their luggage. The hotel is about half a kilometre from the rail station (Nankai Namba); close enough to drag everything yet far enough that you wouldn’t want to, so we took a taxi for that short hop.

Unfortunately, the taxi driver was a moron.

I told him where it was. I told him which way to go, but he went the opposite way. Then he got out to ask another taxi driver the way. Twice. In case you’re wondering: no, they don’t appear to have any kind of basic certification programme for taxi drivers in Osaka.

He turned off the meter and agreed not to charge us any extra. At least he recognised his own incompetence. I’m glad that I was there, though. I’m sure that being able to speak Japanese saved us from getting fleeced.