Thursday, September 15, 2005


Well, the answer to the previous post is that I went to one of the most internet connected places in the world, where everybody in the train is checking their email on their phones: Japan. And, forgive me, I did not blog.

I spent 4 days in Ciba and one in Tokyo and managed to see the inside of a grand total of 6 buildings (train stations excluded). Outside... well, if 1.2 km of city streets count. I went for training that I was supposed to do in Sydney before leaving, and perhaps would have been a little more relaxed had it been run by Aussies than Japanese people (ie more than 20 minutes for lunch). But our hosts were wonderful and we ate a LOT of sashimi and drank an only slightly smaller amount of sake, so I guess overall it was a reasonably authentic Japanese experience.

We had been considering extending our stay for a couple of days, but a little thing called Typhoon Nadi suggested we return to Bangkok.

To go from a bamboo clinic to Tokyo was a little surreal, but to go back to a refugee camp is more so. Am now visiting another project where several thousand people are camped at the side of the road, and the clinic is a school room partitioned with cardboard boxes. Yesterday buffeting winds took some of the plastic sheeting they use to roof the huts, and sent many of the (also plastic sheeting) latrines flying. I held onto the frame when I was using one, which may have just resulted in more of a surprise for everyone else if it had been carried off with me dangling underneath! Not sure when I'll be heading "home" yet, but in the mean time can add "hello" in a further 3 languages to my repertoire.

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