Invincible Summer |||

Heading East

Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris: the French don’t wander around munching and slurping like Americans and English do. They sit down. Still don’t fancy their coffee.

At the departure gate for Osaka, an old woman gives me an origami bird she has made.

The flight looks full: I’m sandwiched between two other passengers. But it’s not and we soon get ourselves sorted out with an entire row each. An easy flight. I settle down to read the same stories – written quite differently – in Le Monde and the International Herald Tribune.

Leaving Manchuria, we kink around North Korea, and cross the peninsula south of Seoul to approach Honshu. Below, the land is mountainous, the mountains forested, the flat land a jumble of fields and buildings. No open farmland in sight anywhere: scarcely a field without at least one building in it.

Up next Big Brother fears over new medical database for all Landing At Immigration in Osaka a man in a US-style uniform – peaked cap, battledress-style top, white gloves – directs people reaching the head of the
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