Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Wide Awake

I'm quite proud of myself -- I went to bed at 11p.m. and slept (... in the loose sense of the term ...) until nearly 5a.m., a very respectable close-to-six-hours, and a definite improvement over yesterday's going to bed at 1a.m. and getting up at 3a.m. Overall, though, I'm substituting coffee for food and sleep this week.

And a few more pictures ...

A look at Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong. The harbor separates Hong Kong's central district from its Kowloon district, and is a spectacular sight at all times of day. At the time this picture was taken, I was standing on the porch of Hong Kong's museum of art.

... and another one. Notice the forest-covered hills in the background? In reality, these are less than half an hour's walk away. (And yes, I admit, it's very hard not to fall in love with Hong Kong.)

A glance from the top of Mt. Koya -- nothing but rolling (and increasingly steep) green hills and bamboo forests for miles and miles. The picture was taken around midday, but by early afternoon the evening mists begin to drift in and lend this beautiful area a profoundly ethereal character.

Thai temples are centers of all manner of learning -- at Wat Pho, probably Bangkok's most famous temple, the monks have set up a number of life-sized dioramas of the Thai geological composition that sprinkle the templegrounds and offer a nice counterpoint to the colorful excess of the temple itself. Here's one, covered with plants and figures of Thai gods.

Tiananmen Gate, entrance to the Forbidden City, the former royal palace, fronting Tiananmen Square, the current epicenter of the Chinese political empire. Like most of Beijing, the Forbidden City is undergoing heavy renovation at this point ...

... and for good reason. The powerful pillar you see here is really just a log of wood covered in many layers of red paint. As you can see, the laquer is cracking and peeling faster than the reconstruction crews can cover over it. Hmmm.

From the Mr. Fuji area, a tip of the nip to all my California friends :)

... and one more sign of the times for the geeks among us. The unremarkable house in Kyoto to which this sign is attached in indeed the place where Nintendo, initially a humble playing card company, was born. It's not been officially declared a place of worship yet ;)


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