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Visiting a Japanese Tea Farm

I wake up in Capsule Inn Osaka, the world's first capsule hotel. I expected it to be more of a novelty, but its tiny size mimics my RV so closely that it's the most familiar place I've slept all month. I'm in the middle of my 7 day unlimited train pass, so there's no time for dilly-dallying. I jog to the train station, scarf down a fruit and nut bar, and head for Nara.

Nara is home of the biggest Buddha in Japan, which is surrounded by a giant wooden building, which is surrounded by schoolchildren with mandates to practice their English with whitey, who are surrounded by aggressive deer trying to eat anything they can get from the children.

After feeding the deer, conversing with the children, and taking a few pictures of the truly enormous Buddha, I run back to the station just in time to catch my train. The capsule hotel and Nara are just warm-ups (albeit totally out of the way warm-ups) to the main event: staying with a tea-farming family in Fujieda, Japan.

We're Living in the Future

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

This is one of my favorite videos. We're living in the future. It's amazing.

I try not to forget it. I just got off Skype with Yifei in Boston. I called him on SkypeOut (cost: 10 cents USD) to get on Skype (free). Now I'm talking to a fella on the other side of the world. For free. I'm in Hong Kong on top of a mountain. He's in the middle of a city on the other side of the world. And we're talking to each other, real time, for free. No problem. My voice gets converted into digital stuffs, send through wireless signal to a router, which goes through fiberoptics under the ocean to Boston, which gets to Yifei's router and beams it to his laptop.

We're editing in Google docs (free). I can watch as he types and it instantly appears on my screen. This is so marvelously amazing. We're living in the future. I can't get over how amazing this is. Watch that video if you haven't yet. Or watch it again. It's so funny and so true. We're in the future. Wow.

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