Thousands of Miles from Home


First days

8/20/04 4:40 PM
On the airplane from Detriot to Osaka. Only a few more hours until we touch down. Rahul is sitting next to me in the lucky exit row with plenty of leg room. The most interesting aspect of this flight is that throughout the 13 hours we've been flying, the sun has not set. In fact its getting brighter. This makes for pretty exciting scenes above the clouds, white caps on the ocean water.

Currently at a Chinese lesson with my host mother. Its beautiful outside. I woke up feeling wonderful. There is a man who teaches computer classes here. He let me see the computer lab inside of this department store and I showed him my website. Amazing what you can portray with little laguage and some pictures. This chinese lesson is quickly disintegrating into a cooking class. Everyone is very nice, also happy. There is a large warehouse out the window to my left, men making some sort of metal items.

I am not writing until the next morning because i was very tired last nite. it was quite a day. after the chinese lesson i went with shoko, shun, and mai to a sort of italian restaurant on the water. very pretty. afterwards we went to a department store where i bought the most engrish looking notebook i could find and a pen. then we went to see the umi (ocean) which was very close and quite lovely. mom would love it here. we traveled up a mountain to the tomano/okayama national park which was breathtaking. it was truly just like the pictures of the town in the brochure. a widespread ocean with scattered islands, ships, and towns. there are large rocks which tower over the water, each with a different name. smiling rock was my favorite. returning to the house we were greeted by masatoshi who took the four of us in a different car to see okayama. we made a quick stop at a toyota dealership to fix something on his car, and during the wait were served ice tea and juice. there cars here are very advanced. GPS systems and automatic sliding doors. by this time i was getting tired but we went on to okayama castle, which promptly woke me up. built in 1700, almost nothing had changed since its construction. we toured the gardens, took some pictures, and ate shaved ice.
around sunset we came home, switched cars again, and went to eat dinner. yaki niku, cooking food in a fire right at the table. i accidentally ate an uncooked piece of liver, but was quickly corrected by my family (with some laughing). No adverse affects yet. i feel asleep quickly after coming home. cold shower this morning because i couldn't figure out the hot water button in the kitchen.

another wonderful day. masatoshi took the whole family (except shun who had school work) on a tour of okayama. first we went to an art museum in kurashiki which has both japanese/non japanese artists (picasso, andy warhol, rodin). there were also some old chinese pieces from 20 AD. after the art museum we walked around kurashiki ivy square where i received my name. Three symbols, "study," "dream," "citizen." in kurashiki we ate in a traditional japanese restaurant, complete with pillows and slippers, sitting on our knees. even my host family didnt recognize all the foods. after lunch we shopped in a couple stores. im able to communicate a little better now. at least i can get an idea of what is going on.
there is a very large bridge near tamano/kurashiki, much like the chesapeake bay bridge. we took the bridge to a fishermans wharf, very nice with a cool ocean breeze. we went to a temple that was 200 years old, and then to a japanese electronics store.

this morning i was home alone with mai. she slept in so i played the guitar and studied japanese. around noon shoko and i left to go to city hall so i could register in japan with mr. aketa. shun and i went on a bikeride to my school (it rained a lot) but we had fun. i met a few of his friends. shoko made a wonderful dinner and we watched the olympics.

please send me your address (e-mail or mailing) at
i can't check the internet every day, but i would love to hear from you.


  • i can't really picture anything sitting here in cincinnati, except you smiling.

    keep it up keep it up.

    one two oh-my-god?


    By Anonymous, at 12:24 PM  

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