So I’m on the train to Boston to get my visa from the Japanese embassy there. Its kinda awesome – the train has wifi, unlike certain modes of transportation I can name. The “Downeaster” train by Amtrack goes from Portland to Boston with stops on the way, and I’ve never been on it before. It’s meant for people to take day trips to Boston along with other uses, which is exactly the purpose I’m using it for. (I got up at 2:30 am in order to get to the train and get to Boston by 8 am). It’s a pleasant way to travel.

On my previous trip to Japan (yes, I’ve been before.) I didn’t need to visit the embassy, because I was going temporarily – you can somewhat easily get a 90-day visitor’s visa. Where I’m going for 9 months, it’s a little more complicated.

But now I’m finishing my post on the way back. I got to the embassy right when they opened, because I was expecting a line of people, like there are at American embassies. There wasn’t. I handed in my paperwork and left the Federal reserve building. The whole thing took less than 15 minutes. Incredible. So I’ll be getting my Japanese visa within the week, if all goes well.

So my mom and I had an entire day in Boston. It was awesome. We decided to go to the aquarium, which was overpriced ($21) but well worth it. My mom told me the price was never going to go down, so we ought to go while we were there. They have really great stuff. The penguin exhibit is thrilling. We watched them for hours.

The thing about aquariums is that they’ll always have lots of little kids. It’s not an art museum. You just have to take it in and don’t rush. But it was great. One thing was, though, that people would take lots of pictures. Fish don’t photograph well. If you use flash, it bounces off the glass. If you don’t, it’s too dark. But everyone was holding their camera up to the glass like they were going to catch something no one else would.

It’s better to just watch the fish. Memories are better than pictures.

But if you’re going to capture something of the experience, video is the way to go. You can get a far better quality with video than with a picture. Take this one, for example that I took at the zoo in Washington D.C.:

 So -25 days left.

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