Thousands of Miles from Home



With Micah along for the show, Cori and took a leisurely stroll through EXPO for the rest of the day, stopping anywhere that caught our interest. Lithuania had a very interesting exhibit, as did most of the African countries. Toward the evening, Micah met up with his Rotary counselor, so Cori and I took a Maglev train back to Nagoya station to meet our respective Rotary members.

We checked into the Royal Inn Hotel, a fancy joint with real keys (none of that keycard business) and went to eat at a nearby Chinese restaurant. The Rotarians went wild, ordering plate after plate of Chinese food until the five of us were impossibly stuffed. Back at the hotel, they bid us a goodnight and we returned to our rooms. The Rotarians then left to drink at a local bar. I felt it was only fair for us to do the same.

Nagoya night life is amazing. Micah and I met up after dinner and found a place called “The Plastic Factory,” which believe it or not, used to be a real plastic factory. The bartender was Swiss and played the sitar. He met a Japanese woman in India and now lives in Nagoya. In our matching “New Kids on the Block” shirts, Micah and I were dressed to kill at The Plastic Factory.

The next day Micah and his counselor went sightseeing in the town of Nagoya, so Cori and I toured EXPO alone until Janna showed up in the afternoon. She didn’t win her Judo meet, but had a good time anyway. This day at EXPO was amazingly productive. To give a quick overview, we:

Tried to arrive at the park early to see the Toyota Exhibit, but were met with a crowd of 2000 people with the same idea. Instead, we caught an amazing “What if the moon didn’t exist” movie at the Mitsubishi Pavilion. The movie screen was 360 degree surround, with mirrors on the ceiling to guarantee maximum “wow” reaction. After Mitsubishi we listened to some music at the Austrian Pavilion and waltzed with real Austrians. At the Saudi Arabian Pavilion we caught a great ethnic dance which I almost felt like joining myself. The French Pavilion showed a depressing yet poignant movie, and was an all-around excellent display of world problems today. We witnessed a passionate tango at Argentina, and ate tacos at the Mexican Pavilion. While eating our tacos, I spotted a man walking around the park in a Ninja outfit. He kept climbing on fences, and “ninja crawling” his way all over the place. After a few minutes he was joined by a second ninja, and they ran off together. Strange.

I also got a chance to see the Robot Pavilion, which had some of the newer design models from TMSUK, the company who’s President I interviewed in Fukuoka. There was also a robot called PaPeRo, which could fart on command. Who knows when that might come in handy.

Overall, EXPO was a superb international experience that I could easily write about in much more detail (if necessary). If you happen to be near Japan this summer, don’t forget a trip to Nagoya.


  • Hi Benjamin, thanks for the lovely pics and the interesting report. It was almost like being there.
    My favorite line “ ... we waltzed with REAL Austrians.” I’m tempted to ask: Are they any different than the fake ones? ;-) Cheers, Bibi.

    By Bibi Blogsberg, at 4:32 PM  

  • your entry gives me the urge to grow up and be a ninja.

    maybe...some day...

    By mimi, at 10:14 PM  

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