October 18, 2007

Hello from Yokohama

I am visiting Yokohama to talk science with some colleagues. Japan is a wonderful place. I went for a walk this morning and found some garden plots by a river. The gardens were full of amazingly healthy vegetables, potatos, carrots, cabbage, fruits, all growing in carefully tended dry sandy soil. It feels strange to walk the streets and ride the subway, and not only not to understand a word of what is around me but also to be the only non-Asian. During the walk I saw a blueberry bush growing in a small planting bed in front of a house. Same variety as we have at home but not as healthy. It had a few small berries and the leaves had turned red, even though none of the other plants here have turned.

I taught a course for a day and a half (starting 3 hours after my plane landed), and then gave a 2-hour seminar for the institute. There was a live video link to a conference room at another campus so people there could listen and ask questions. After the seminar my host and I went out for dinner and ate many Japanese delicacies including barbequed chicken gizzard, chicken skin kebab, fried battered gristle and lotus root with burdock. It was all quite delicious.


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