Travel to Asia – 2015

Despite doing some fun and interesting things, this blog has been on a nearly 2 year break.  Drafts that I started during my trips to Thailand, Ukraine, China and Japan during that time smell kind of stale now so I will let them go.

After 2, two-week trips to BC and ON in June and July, I have traveled very little this summer.  It is a good thing because Dharmasuri has struggled with the aftermath of her April head injury.  I have tried to take over as the in-house answer man for our contractors and project manager for our building project in Portland.  I’ve also served as Punk’s personal valet, focusing on her unpredictable and oftentimes unannounced elimination needs.

In the past month, Dharmasuri has made some really important strides in her recovery with the help of some enthusiastic and dedicated rehab staff in Portland.  If there is a silver lining to all of this it is that she realizes how hard she works and how much so many people depend on her.  As she moves forward, Dharmasuri is committed to retool how she lives and what she does.  I will leave the details to her.  Maybe some of this will rub off on me.  As I leave Portland, ME, for a 3+ week international excursion on 13 Oct, I feel better about how she is doing and not as guilty as I might have been

My first stop is a short one to the other Portland for a conference presentation.  Following that, I will be visiting Japan and China to teach and serve whatever marketing chores these guys have for me.

Arrival

It is great to be back in Japan.  I like it here a lot and feel very comfortable.  I have none of the apprehensions that I arrived with in 2012.  I got off the plane, went through customs, collected my bags, found the shuttle stop and waited, unconcerned, for its unspecified arrival.  Once at the hotel, I organized food and awaited my pick-up the next day.

The course is again at Gotemba, a city located 2+ hours SW of Tokyo, at the base of Mt Fuji.  Fuji is an iconic symbol for Japan both as its highest mountain and the volcano posing the greatest threat to Tokyo.  I am reminded each time I return that it is overdue.  Our home was once part of a complex of military camps in the area.  Currently, the US Marines are stationed across the road at Camp Fuji and the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force is just down the road from us.  By all accounts, this is one US base that enjoys a good relationship with the locals.

We will be one of several groups here, all partaking in the usual morning rituals before getting to business.  The fees are incredibly inexpensive.  Rooms are $1.50/night, and then about $15 for 3 all-you-can-eat communal, cafeteria meals.  Most visitors sleep in large rooms on futons on top of tatami (room sized bamboo mats) floors.  This time, we will have our own rooms.

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