Early Evening Roll

Rollin` through the jostling streets near dusk, camera swaying from my sweaty neck, sunglasses and hunting cap providing some protection from the glaring sun – slightly murky, and hidden by the hazy sky.  Stop to talk to a fisherman, who says with a smirk, `havent caught nothin`.  But there is eel to be had in these waters apparently.  I envision of bowl of grilled eel on top of rice and I wish the fisherman good luck.

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Spot an intimidating naval vessel that looks ready to defend a patch of disputed islands in the China Sea, or just stay docked in a busy harbour.

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Stop to check out the girth of the boat racing stadium, floating on the canal waters.  Panorama shot: check. Feeling like a tourist: check.  Needlessly self-conscious, I move on.

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Heavy traffic causes me to use more caution than usual, even though I am always aware of a multitude of reckless drivers.  I stop every once in awhile, snap a random pic of this building or that moat.

The buildings catch my attention though.  For some reason, they seem more high-tech here or something.  The pictures never do justice to my idealized mental imagery of things.  Oh yeah, like that red wooden shriney-thing and the tall, metallic towervwill look so cool and postmodern juxtaposed against each other.

ImageImageThe inner-city expressway just kind of lingers over everything.

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I meet a lady who works at a neat old antique/most-eclectic-collection-of- things-ever shop near the big park in the middle (sort of) of the city, and she tells me she has been collecting stuff for over thirty years.  Cool.

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People walking dogs, kids playing soccer, a shirt-and-tie dude with bongo drums, just people doin` stuff on a Saturday afternoon as I roll through the hot streets, observing, taking it in, imprinting in my mind the nooks and crannies tucked away on narrow streets where life just continues to happen.

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A Celebration of Forthcoming Vows

An impending union between a blissful couple was the cause for a gathering of friends, family and co-workers this past weekend at a university campus in the city, where the international couple are both working toward graduate degrees.  Vietnamese traditional dance wowed guests, and drew smiles from all.  How-much-do-you-know-your-partner games enlivened the atmosphere and caused many to laugh.  A cute duet between the marital couple-to-be, floating lilies, stunning, coulorful dresses,  and delicious snacks ensured that the heart-warming event was a delightful success.ImageFlowers for the couple

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Best wishes to the couple on the journey ahead!

Night Ride

Having been cooped up inside for most of the evening, we decided to get some fresh, if not somewhat humid air.  It rained for the first time in awhile today and the scent of the forthcoming monsoon commingled with fresh flowers, smoky, grilled meats wafting from izakaya`s, and the unmistakable smell of tonkatsu ramen, a rather sweaty sock kind of scent.  Despite the odd mix in the air, the evening air re-energized us, now ready to take on Saturday at full speed.

Snapped a few pics along the way.  Such different scenery at night, the neon and shadows creating something surreal at times.  Of course the bizarre power lines and the facades of various buildings contribute to an environment that is quite unlike sleepy Victoria BC.

Encouraged by what the camera picked up, I will no doubt endeavor to explore the evening spectacles in the coming summer months.    Here is a sampling of some of the more ordinary stuff out there at night.

The view as we exited our apartment.

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The bicycle parking area…well-lit to discourage potential thieves I suppose.

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The rather tall-ish Orient Building #51 with its neon strip along the top.

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A nearby river.

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Late-night practice at the range.

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The view from an overpass.

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A nice park beside the train tracks.

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Outside of Yodobashi Camera.

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Pachinko, pedestrians and a parking spiral up ramp.

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A pedestrian tunnel under the tracks.

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