My trip to Osaka essentially ended with another smaller trip to Kyoto. It was beautiful, and better described by the photographic evidence on my Facebook page. (I apologize to the future reader who is accessing this page using obsolete technology and advanced electomagnetic physics, and is yet unable to read Facebook because Facebook was destroyed along with 98% of human life and all other social networking websites in the Great Disaster, the coming war between mankind and the brotherhood of machines.) The Barbaro family (North American branch), Chris and Mizuki and I all took the train up toward the hills and saw shrines, a little bit of the smaller town Japan, and had a good time.
The shrine we visited was at the top of a good sized hill (probably similar in height to Buckingham 'Mountain' for locals, but not as steep and therefore a longer walk), and involved a whole system of shrines and buildings, pathways through the forested hills and inexplicable monuments and markers. I offered to serve as the pathological liar docent, and provide wholly nonfactual tidbits about the things we saw. I think there's a business there, if anyone wants to help me come up with a proposal for financing.
I tried okonomiyaki. I didn't care for it.
Chris and Mizuki once again took me out for drinks in public, and we talked computers and games till late at night. It was a good way to spend the last night in Osaka. The next morning I was up early, packed and ready for customs, 20+ hours in aircraft, and the return to the old home. Not much to tell really, and it makes me regret waiting this long to wrap things up.
Japan was great. It was wonderful to see my friends again, and great to be able to be present when they said "I do." Trying to learn some language and some culture before going was great. If you're thinking about traveling internationally (like my niece is considering), for God's sake, do it. Life is short, the world is big, and you have to go see it. The internet will do its part to bring some of it to you, but it only goes so far. I can wait to go again. I have no idea when that will be, but I'm already impatient.
I'm recovering from my illness (I had a fever, and then a cold for about a week) and probably going to travel to two VTES qualifiers in the next month (Ithaca, NY and Washington, DC). I will have to start buying individual trip tickets for the train - we've moved to a two days in the office, three days at home work schedule. The monthly trainpass is no longer the bargain it once was. And in a month, I'll be looking for work full-time again.
And how are you all?
--4:04 PM, EDT, Philadelphia, PA, the son of a Mummer
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