Osaka

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Well I took off to Osaka with a great crew of all Anchorage guys.  I considered lying about my First Officer to make him sound more interesting, but reconsidered since it is remotely possible that he might read this post.  Suffice to say it was thoroughly enjoyable flying with him, although I had to quickly hone my sarcasm and dry humor senses in order to understand him.  In the end, I found it a rewarding experience.

Osaka was almost uneventful; we had the good fortune of having an "Osaka Expert" for our RFO.  For dinner he was the guide to a new local restaurant that served western beers "just a short walk from the hotel."  Fortunately Steve and I were insightful enough to bring a couple of days rations and a change of underwear for the walk.  After hiking past the noodle shop in Narita we turned into a dark alley just in time to see the daily catch being slaughtered and prepared for the evening meal.

Finally arriving at the local favorite for the western beer, we watered the horses, and enjoyed a pint of Guinness.  It was also serendipitous that the proprietor spoke such good English since we were able to partake in an excellent bowl of Vietnamese pho after ordering hamburgers and fries.

I had hoped to go to the Osaka Castle the next morning, but FedEx insisted upon it’s pound of flesh and we were dispatched back to the airport by noon the next morning.

Hong Kong

We arrived in Hong Kong after 9PM and it was my turn to be the tour guide.  Luckily Steve learned from the Osaka experience and packed a full bag for the adventure.  I had intended to take him to a Mongolian barbeque for dinner, but since he insisted on being such a pain for the entire walk, I made sure that I wasted enough time taking bad pictures to ensure that we arrived at the restaurant about 30 seconds after it closed.

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In order to make up for his clear disappointment in missing dinner, I offered to buy him a beer at a local establishment I was familiar with; "The Hair of the Dog."  Fortunately I knew exactly how to get there too.  As if we were mice in a maze we thirstily ventured down the alleys of Kowloon in search of our prize.  Apparently I was one of those mice that are simply unable to comprehend the complexities of the maze.  After thoroughly investigating every dead end alley in the area, I was able to demonstrate my superlative navigational skills by stumbling upon the brew pub in the last alternative available.  We were pleased to discover that it was packed and service was not available.

So, not to be discouraged, we marched on to the German Pub (coincidently only about 500 feet from our starting point), in a valiant effort to find nourishment.  Thankfully I also found additional objects to photograph, and share them here for your enjoyment:

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As a final note, I want to say that the city is really spectacular across the bay this time of year.  It was challenging to get any pictures, but i did my best:

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