March 28, 2008

Back in Japan

Well, we are back in Japan. And Cherry Blossom season is in full bore. For a funny little article that really shows how seriously the cherry blossom thing is taken over here, check out this article and this one.

Some final thoughts on Thailand:
  • On our way out of the country, we got Dunkin' Donuts Iced Coffees (!) for the grownups and Dairy Queen Oreo Blizzards for the kids at the airport. While there are a million McDonalds and Starbucks, you just can't find these two particular indulgences in Japan!

  • The international airport in Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport) is off-the-charts huge and ultra-modern, and really puts the "international" in international airport. There are Samsung and LG flat-screen monitors blaring world financial news, tons of shops and restaurants, and people from all over Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. Among this hustling modern hangar, there was also, of course, a Muslim Prayer Room (see sign below). The international hodgepodge of the airport again makes Japan seem so homogeneous by comparison; because, well, it is!.

  • As we browsed the Thai Airways destination map on the airplane on the way back home, we realized that we are just starting to scratch the surface of an entire set of countries that we knew very little about and - truth be told - would have been lucky to correctly identify on a map just a short time ago: Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc. It's quite an eye-opening experience. We'd literally need years to truly explore all these places . . . let alone Japan!

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