Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day 65 - Along Coast of Japan

We left Osaka about 4 am this morning.  Today and tomorrow we are at sea.   Originally the ship was scheduled to stay a second day here, but the captain received some information about the currents that made him cut our time in this port back.  A 4 am departure is unusual though.  I woke up when the ship started to move and looked out to see what we are doing.  The ship was just turning around to head out of the harbor.  I took a little video of the lights along the shore and went back to sleep.

After breakfast we went to hear the next lecture in Dr. Elovitz's series on "World Affairs Hot Spots."  This one was titled "North Korea Before and After Kim."  He put North Korea's actions and threats into perspective, based on history combined with the little we really know about North Korea.  The fact that we will be visiting Seoul the day after tomorrow is a little scary in light of recent events.  One of the tours offered is actually to go see one of the tunnels North Korea has built under the DMZ.  We are not going on that tour! 

Dr Elovitz's lectures provide an insightful view of the motivations that drive various countries to act the way they do.  He presents the facts in what appears to me as a very neutral way, but in a way that really make me think about U.S. foreign policy.  I don't think I've really understood much of this before and feel like my eyes have been opened quite a bit. 

This afternoon we attended another of Sandra Bowern's lectures.  This was "An Introduction to South Korea."  Where Dr Elovitz talks about political issues, Sandra talks about culture.  She touched on Korea's history, noting that the penninsula has been inhabited for at least 500, 000 years.  Mostly, she talked about Korean music and other art forms.  She played a few short clips of the various music styles and I have decided that this is probably my least favorite Asian music.

We purchased the DVD's that the ship's videographer put together for each cruise segment and have spent our free time today reviewing the first 2.  They are good because, for the most part, the videographer seems to have gone on different tours at each port than we did.  Many of these were tours that were listed as the most strenuous, so the DVDs are  giving us a chance to see the tours we couldn't go on. 
Towel Dog Created for Ray's Birthday

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