Boy from Osaka

"We will not want to be in France long. It might be too hot."

A casual comment that conjures up a variety of images, all of them incorrect and some downright unclean. (In defense of the thoughts that initially sprung to my mind, I'd like to say that my friends have exposed me to way too much Hetalia dojinshi [1].)

Unclean thoughts were perhaps doubly inappropriate given that I was in a public bath. Not a traditional onsen this time (although the lack of clothes was a common feature), but Osaka's "Spa World". In this bath experience, there are two separate floors of hot tubs, one European themed and the second Asian. They alternate gender monthly, with September seeing the women having access to the European section.

We began in Rome, an elegant marble-esque pot with centurion statues rearing above us. Next, we moved on to Atlantis in a blue under-water themed room with an aquarium containing blow fish (not to be casually nibbled on) and Nemo clown fish. From there, we dipped into an ice pool, covered ourselves in mud and then salt before sinking into Spain's outdoor pool with a waterfall crashing over us. Finally we moved onto France which was ... as you might have gathered ... too hot to linger in for long.

Appropriately, there was no British themed bath. Can you imagine the Brits in a naked public bathing room once the Romans has left? No, clearly neither could Spa World.

[1]: Hetalia doujinshi is fan-made manga (normally x-rated) of the popular Japanese anime series in which stereotyped characters represent the different countries.