Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Now It's on the Pinnacle of Evolution!

Day 4: Wednesday morning my rail pass and I jetted off on yet another shinkansen, this time to Hiroshima. Feeling bold, I didn't bother to look at any maps and went madly off in all directions. Two hours of wandering in what may or may not have even been Hiroshima, I found my way back to the train station and took the tram to the Peace Park.

Twenty days and three google searches later, I just found out that I really wasn't in Hiroshima city anymore (although I was still in the Hiroshima prefecture).

Wherever I was, they had some frogs there.

At last! Incontrovertible proof that I was here. Photo courtesy of a guy from Westchester. Strange alienation of head from neck courtesy of me.

The A-Bomb Dome. Formerly a public works building, it has been preserved exactly as it was after the morning of August 6, 1945. Everyone in the building was killed instantly.

This tricycle belonged to a little boy who was hit by the blast of Little Boy while riding it. He died that night and was buried with his tricycle. Forty years later, his father dug up the tricycle and gave it to the Peace Museum. The museum is very informative and definitely worth the trip. It's also pretty gross (skin and nails on display), much to the delight of the bazillions of schoolchildren forced to do homework assignments there.

On the way back from Hiroshima to Kyoto, I almost missed my stop because I was in such a reverie about my railpass. Besides the bullet trains and select subway lines, it's also good for one of the ferries going to Miyajima, the island-god. Which I didn't visit. But I could have. For free.

Day 5: I woke up to discover that my watch was smashed:

Which is a little odd considering that the day before I had seen this picture of the watch that stopped at the exact moment of the detonation of the A-bomb.

And then I discovered this:

This is my leg and it is gross. I never felt a thing. For the two pictures to be related, I would have had to fold myself in half while sleeping, twist my arm so that my watch faced inward and then vigorously smash my watch against my leg.

For breakfast, I went to St Marc's coffeeshop.

I thought this was an interesting juxtaposition.

I got to thinking once again about the differences and similarities between Iceland and Japan, the second- and first-most-expensive countries in the world, respectively. I wondered for example, why, if Japan is the most expensive country, are a coffee and a chocolate croissant in Japan

a. $3.50 and
b. very good

whereas in Iceland a coffee and a bagel are

a. $7.50 and
b. also very good (the coffee and bagel were a bad example) BUT
all other foods in Iceland are disgusting and even more expensive?

This photo is a parenthetical--this is food in Iceland (and if you can't tell from the picture, let me assure you: It was really really bad). Now observe food in Japan:

In your face, Iceland! At least you have your looks to fall back on.

D returned and I got to speak to another human being. It was very exciting, not least because I got to stop using air freshener to wash my hands. We went strolling.

This is somewhere.

Pretty maids all in a row.

Coming up: paper shredders and Brad Pitt.

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