Setting off on my Pacific vacation, I had hoped to provide some photographs in posts made during it even if they had to be uploaded in fragments of satellite connection time measured out day by day. Remembering how I couldn't manage to get the pictures from my camera to my travelling portable during my Florida vacation last year, I went out and got a new memory card reader. I tested it after opening the package and can remember it working, but as soon as I was on the move I tried it again and it didn't work. It's frustrating to talk about things without being able to "prove" it.
Nevertheless, I can at least say
the flights across the continent and over the ocean worked out and I made it to the cruise ship. I do have to admit that looking around and seeing that just about all the other passengers are over retirement age can make me feel sort of out of place, but it's something that can be handled. I also got hit with a nasty case of jet lag, going to bed "early" feeling absolutely exhausted but waking up just hours later and lying awake for what seemed the rest of the night, but that does seem to be fading even as time starts getting taken back hour by hour.
What I've seen so far has been interesting. While I only spent part of an afternoon and an evening in Japan, being driven from the Osaka airport to the cruise terminal in Kobe, I did manage to see urban scenery on the drive and get off the ship and walk around, lucking on a downtown department-style store
I can best describe as a Future Shop
or Best Buy stacked up on multiple small floors with a hobby shop above it, thus accomplishing what just might be called "fandom tourism." (So far as that goes, while in San Francisco I didn't get outside of San Francisco International Airport, which in itself inspires an obscure thought
or two, I noticed there were a good number of Star Wars books in the airport bookstore. For that matter, two trivia competitions in a row on board the ship included questions related to Star Wars, ones the older people I was part of a team with could be a bit less quick to answer than I was.) Even before that, I had the strange yet certain sense that I didn't feel "disillusioned" seeing "the real Japan." Things got a bit more cultural on a city tour of Busan, South Korea, although maybe I did wonder a bit about it being a "substitute," and about how the weight of history of Japan once having occupied Korea in the decades before the Second World War makes that thought a little uncertain (although I have heard on this cruise itself that things could be better nowadays.) Tomorrow, we're into Vladivostok in Russia, and so far I've been enjoying myself.