Mon Amour

I go to Hiroshima University for a couple of days. The campus is actually a long way from downtown Hiroshima, which is a drag as I feel I should see the Peace Museum thing on one of my trips. Anyway I have the best of times.

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Nuclear wasteland

The night before the thing we have to do, we go to eat okinomiyaki, which is like indigenous in Hiroshima.

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okinomiyaki people

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Really good

We do the  university assesment thing and then go out to dinner again. This time it is a pretty good cross section of the university’s senior management and a couple of er distinguished guests. There is a wonderful guy from Singapore and me.

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The menu is above the plate. 10 courses?

Holy cow – what a night!

What I love about the Japanese is their determination to have a good time. Had this been in the U.S., we would have continued to have discussed the the day’s meeting and maybe had a glass of wine.  I France, it would be a good meal and wine but everyone would maintain pomposity.  In Japan, we eat incredible food and get to know each other really well. I think this is because the Japanese have the ability to shed hierachy, inhibition, discretion, reserve, work-concerns once alcohol enters the picture. We have a wonderful evening!

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Kampai!

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Such wonderful food

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Vice President of Research and I discuss important strategic issues.

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Great bunch, preparing for the symposium the following day.

So, God bless you folks at Hiroshima University.

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4 Responses to Mon Amour

  1. Alan says:

    Love okonomiyaki! Have you tried the Hiroshima version with oysters? Sounds daft but somehow fits with the ‘throw whatever you fancy in’ vibe of the dish.
    Which bit of the University did you go to that’s so far out of the centre? The Hiroshima Uni I know of is only about 1km south-east of the Peace Museum, maybe 1.3km from the Atomic Dome. Your picture seems to be somewhere outside the city at another campus.
    Yes, the Japanese do seem to love an excuse for a good knees up!

  2. Hi Alan where have you been? I get hints of your passing, like passing through rather than death, all around the Southern Hemisphere.

  3. Alan says:

    Recent trip was to Indonesia as part of a New Scientist tour. Normally I abhor guided tours but given the range of somewhat sciencey things involved – Komodo dragons, volcanoes, the Homo Floresiensis cave, solar eclipse – I went for it. Great fun, especially the eclipse day on the tiny island of Tidore, the original Spice Island. Much local excitement as they see hardly any foreigners there so we were treated like visiting flim stars – 80% of the population desperate to take photos of themselves with us and to feed us masses of delicious food. Met some lovely people, including Anita, the Sultan of Tidore’s sister, a real powerhouse of a woman, determined to kick-start a tourist industry there. Also the three daughters of the neighbouring island of Ternate’s Sultan – Wei, Soraya and Mona Lisa! A great time all round.
    Our New Scientist party was made of some lovely characters from Europe, US, Canada, Australia and NZ. It included the NS senior editor. Can’t be so complimantary about some of the other three or four hundred people who turned up on Tidore for the eclipse. Some of them seemed unable to get their heads round the fact that there wasn’t the service and food they’d expect on 5th Avenue or Park Lane on an island with just one homestay for visitors.Lots of tantrums – luckily they were in the minority and most of the eclipse chasers were well-mannered. Some we spoke to were on their 16th total eclipse – just as obsessed as twitchers!
    One intriguing thing was how the farther from the fleshpots of Bali we got the more laid back and apparently equal the female population became. Few girls seemed to pilot the ubiquitous scooters on Hindu Bali, vast majority on the back seat. On largely Christian Flores there were more female drivers but on the tiny islands of Ternate and Tidore it sometimes seemed the female drivers were in the majority despite these islands being massively Muslim majority, Tidore having Christian churches at all. The girls also showed no hesitation as to man-handling foreign men in to suitable positions for the obligatory selfies.
    Would love to go back and spend more time just pottering – great place for snorkelling/scuba diviing.

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