*Soundtrack:* Something for Kate, _Beautiful Sharks_; The Killers, _Hot Fuss_, The Bravery, _The Bravery_.
Today, I went on a long bike ride from my apartment in Shimanouchi to the Osaka bay area and back. Halfway there, on a bridge, I took my phone out to take a photo of some factories on a river, and found it out of juice. So I have only words to give you.
I rode by factories, and was showered by water droplets coming from one… I rode up a towering coil of a ramp up to a bridge that ran through the air and over a river. Over more bridges, I rode over islands, and on tree-lined (and rubbish-strewn) sidewalks to the World Trade Center area, where I walked on a palm-tree-lined boulevard by the water, saw a ship called “Asian Genius” at dock, and watched majestic yellow elevators travel their shaft to and from the Cosmo Tower lobby. I was waved away by a toll-booth operator at a massive freeway bridge from the WTC island to the Tempozan Harbor Village island, and had to ride back the way I came, all the way south to Nanko, north up Taisho-dori, and back home east along Sennichimae-dori. Riding down around the coiling bridge-ramp was a beautiful, smooth and speedy roll…
It was a pleasant, warm afternoon, and a combination of endorphins from uphill bridge-climbing and the sight of sea and majestic factories left me feeling much happier than I usually do here in Japan. Walking in the malls near the Cosmo Tower, I remembered the much greater material comforts of home, in Melbourne, and thought just how much like heaven life in the rich, Western world really is. I’m really looking forward to going back, and I’ve only got 53 days to wait. Japan’s not so bad, materially, but heaven’s a hard place when you don’t speak the language and you’ve got few people to talk to.