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February 8th, 2006


Around the thirteenth hour, the flight crew announced that to our left, we could see Mount Fuji. The kind woman next to me moved aside, a bit, so that I could see the snow-capped peak. This proved a nice break from hours of CDs, magazines, and movies. Prior to the viewing, I had read a magazine called The Gramophone, in which classical music got extensively reviewed and dissected (and even distributed on a CD, resulting in a charming Du Pre Elgar cello piece being available for the cost of an issue). I listened to a CD by the Pop Dolls, as well as a CD which came with a rock music magazine I bought. I started a "family movie" I bought at a dollar store about a family bound for pioneering in Oregon, but as the body count climbed, I found myself retreating into ambience once more.

When one lands in Osaka's airport, water surrounds one. It bursts in white-capped waves. A toll bridge passes dockyards and boats. We left Dallas at 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday. We landed at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Our ingress into the city took an hour. I went with another fellow for a casual meal at a hotel restaurant--my steamed fish proved delightful, if only mildly exotic. I asked the concierge if I could find any traditional or folk or classical Japanese music, but was told I could find jazz. I love jazz, and find Japanese jazz interesting, but I decided to go for a walk. I crossed the river to the
park near the Osaka Palace, passing kids in tunnelways with guitars, and pausing to examine the
street vendor stands where for 500 yen a piece, one can get fish or chicken or meat on a stick.
The chill weather finally caused me to return to my hotel, where I sit typing while CNN discusses
churches burning in Alabama and riots over cartoons.