Saturday, January 31, 2004

Greetings, everyone.

Well, last week, Doug got it into his head to go to Nagasaki for the annual Lantern Festival. So, after a four-hour drive and a night at a love hotel, here we are. During the Tokugawa Shogunate (I'll edit in the dates later), this city was the only place where foreigners were allowed to come in contact with Japan. The second Tokugawa shogun (I'll add his name later, too) put this restriction into effect. Soon after, contact was further restricted to just the Dutch only, and they had to stay on an artificial island built in the harbor. This island, Dejima, is now a historic site, but Nagasaki has grown around it.

Of course, Nagasaki is also the second city to be hit with a nuclear bomb. I chose not to go to the peace park and museum. I don't think I could deal with that today.

Nagasaki has a very large and interesting Chinatown, and that's where we're staying. The streets are liberally bedecked with lanterns, and they look very impressive. I assume they'll look even more impressive when the sun has set and they are all lit. Jamie and I saw the king and queen of the festival (?) carried into the main park on palanquins. Very impressive.

I've only got a few minutes at this internet cafe left, so I'll wrap it up for now. I hope to hear from you all soon....

Wednesday, January 14, 2004



Learn your Ninja Clan at the
Ninja Burger website.

Monday, January 05, 2004

If you're wondering just what the heck's going on in the new splash page picture, here's another photo from the same event.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Oh my God. I've got to post this now, while it's still fresh (eeewwww) in my memory.

So I got on the train at Nishi Kagoshima Station, ready to come home after a day of shopping in Kagoshima City. I had just gotten settled in my seat, when all of a sudden a remarkably ugly woman got on the train. Never had so much makeup been used to so little effect.

This person deposited a number of big bags by the door and proceeded to walk down the car to find a seat, stopping at the seat behind mine. At this point, a definitely MALE voice gruffly asked if the seat was free. Getting a nod (the other person was apparently speechless), he went back to the door, and schlepped his bags over to the seat.

Later in the train ride, the seats on the other side of the aisle from me freed up, and so this guy (old, ugly) moved over there. He then proceeded to put his legs up on the seat in front of him, put a green knit...thingy on them, and then he hauled out a camcorder and videotaped...his legs. For about five minutes. I have no clue what he was doing. I'm not sure I want to know.

When I got ready to get off the train at Higashiichiki, he proceeded to move all of his stuff again, across the aisle to where I had been sitting. He then put the green thingy back on and continued to videotape.

Everyone in that car of the train was staring at him.

Actually, I am sure. I definitely don't want to know.