Monday, May 3, 2010

konichiwa

Greetings all from Kyoto, upon my return from the land of the rising sun. After three weeks away from the office I am now returned, in need of a shower and starving. Here's the synopsis.

Brisbane
Visited with my bro and the erstwhile Dr Wallis. Brisbane is hot. Real hot. And not just in a groovy way, sweat was the name of the game. Ate well (thanks Dr W), saw some funky stuff at the Museum of Queensland, the Art Gallery of Queensland and the Queensland Maritime Museum.

The lovely brother also drove me up to the Sunshine Coast so that we could visit Australia Zoo. I was sooooo excited. And later in the day I was sooooo disappointed. Expensive. Naff. An Irwin self promotion vehicle. Although I did see Bindi Irwin feeding a crocodile on stage. The whole audience was willing the animal to take her. Unfortunately we were disappointed. Again. I must admit the crocodile show was good, although brief (too much plugging of young Bindi's new straight to video movie).

The Elephant enclosure was also good. Other than that it was rather dull, very sticky and the food was horribly overpriced and near inedible - how somewhere that plugs itself as a conservation centre could serve such obviously battery reared, unhappy, chemical riddled chicken at its restaurant is beyond me. Bleaaagggh.

Townsville
Far North Queensland-ahoy! Even more sticky, but beautifully air conditioned! Went to a wonderful predators of the deep show at Reef HQ, the local aquarium, and enjoyed some great coffee. The conference was hit and miss. Some interesting sessions, some really boring sessions, some totally inspirational sessions. However on the whole it just seemed to be an excuse for people to catch up with people they flirted with at the last conference, not great professional networking going on, and frankly I'm too old and grumpy for it, so I was quite happy to leave the closing banquet early (the food was ho-hum, but I'm sure there is no way to make it otherwise when you're feeding that number of people, lunches were great tho). However on leaving the banquet I was unable to find my left contact lens.

Japan
... which meant on the flights to Japan my eye was red and angry and horribly weepy (probably from me sticking my finger in it ever ten seconds trying to find the lens. Which, by the way, never appeared).

Japan was.... strange. Extraordinarily quiet. Extraordinarily organised. And clean. And punctual. And totally utterly beautiful at every turn. But I got the feeling that not many of them are very good at making their own decisions.

I could have added pictures here, but I have created the 'blog with the worst name ever'. The best are here for friends and family. And you're my friend, so feel free to browse: