Sunday, September 5, 2021

Japan Trip (six years later)

Since the world is insane and there's no such thing as enjoying travel any longer...

Ahhhh, rainy day.  I'm all gamed out, took a nap, spent some time with my favorite person in the universe (Paulina) and now just relaxing.  Decided to plumb the depths of some of my mini projects researching what causes inversion loss (DC/AC) and... it's hopeless.  There are waaaaaaay smarter people that me that can't figure it out so I'm just going to pause that.

I ran across pics of my 50th birthday trip to Japan and Vietnam and figured it might be nice to put those up along with some of the more salient points about Japan that I discovered.  Like everyone there is super polite (least those that I met), it's astonishingly clean and petty crime is seemingly just totally absent.  And Dirty Harry the Grumpy Tour Bus Guy is out of control!  Anyway, here's some more of the story.

Dirty Harry.  He called himself Harry.  

Dirty Harry the grumpy tour bus guy
Then proceeded to tell us that he can't stand his wife and complain about everything interspersing Japanese, English and an Arabic tongue (not sure which, but there were a bunch of folks from the middle east there).  What a tour guide, it was hilarious.  We universally agreed he would be known henceforth as "Dirty Harry" and he loved it.  

I think I was responsible for his diatribe because I stopped to help P get on the bus and was just courteous and polite (like I normally try to be).  Set him off.  He couldn't figure out why anyone would do that.

The pic of Dirty Harry above is absent (you can see his reflection in the mirror, which is probably best as I don't want to get him in trouble and we can plainly see that he isn't a Vampire) because I forgot that the driver is on the other side of the vehicle in Japan...  Really messed me up thinking about how I would drive there.  Sure it would be rather ugly, but I digress.  There's a book that could likely be written about Dirty Harry but we only had a couple of days with him.  

First time in Japan, we did the touristy thing and visited as many of the sights as we could. The Golden Temple is in Kyoto and it's gorgeous.  It's made of freaking GOLD.  

The Golden Temple
Seems like there's only Buddhist Temples left.  I read somewhere that Shintoism was largely responsible for the warlike behavior, or something.  I'm not a historian, maybe someone can correct me.  Otherwise I'm probably right.  As usual.  Look! Squirrel!!!

We went to see the deer in Nara.  These guys bow to you and you're supposed to give them a treat.  And they are like little Japanese treat terrorists... if you do NOT give them a treat, they will sometimes stalk you, and we saw some poor lady running for her life, deer in pursuit.  I managed to avoid being deer food and protected, nay..., BRAVELY PROTECTED the Sweet Girl.  So we survived in the end.

The temple shown behind us is astonishingly large.  

There are statues in there of Buddha and other deities.  Every one of them is gigantic.  Like imagine the height of that building with a giant Buddha inside.  That big.  

Keep in mind this stuff was built in like 500BC or something.  Don't quote me on that.  But it wasn't made with modern tools.

Here's a picture of the giant Buddha.  I had to back up all the way to the door to get it in frame.  It's funny, a lot of people ('Mercan's especially) find some romantic version of Buddhism that they then "claim" and try to become enlightened.  Without actually becoming anything remotely close to enlightened.  They don't even know what that means.  Those people really kinda suck in a way because Buddha was a teacher.  Unless you take the time to try and understand the teachings, you're just like a cliquey schoolkid. 
The first trip we made to Vietnam (this trip) we met a monk that told me about Ajahn Chah a Buddhist Monk in Thailand.  Ajahn wrote several books.  The most notable was Food for the Heart.  It's a pretty great read.  If you have any interest in learning about the Buddha and his teachings, it's a very good place to start.  Simple, direct and to the point, it makes a sometimes inscrutable subject very understandable and down to earth.  Which is as it should be.

I know that the Sweet Girl is the cliquey-est of them all.  LOL, kidding.  Here she is in front of a model of the temple.  The detail is incredible.  Down to the last little thing.  It's pretty amazing.  If I could read any of the Japanese writing there I'd have more to tell you about it.  All three people that still stumble across my irreverent ramblings that is...

I tried to see if I could get googley eyes on any part of the model but she wouldn't let me.  Which, in hindsight, is probably a good thing.  I mean, really...  Japan was a lot of fun.  I recommend it if you can go.

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Be nice. Get a sense of humor. Deal people.