Crimes against Humanity

Nicholas Quirke was exhausted by the end of the day 22 February 2020. It was a travel day but as he arrived at his destination earlier than expected he decided to make the most of his time and sight see. He was headed to Osaka by train and as he had to check out of the Wing Hotel by 10am he got to Hakarta station early to buy his ticket. Having re packed his case it somehow felt substantially lighter which was surprising as he had managed to squeeze his coat in there as well. He bought himself a vegan lunch box from Evah macrobiotic Dining and boarded the high sped train which would get him to Osaka, It was not till he was on the train that he became aware of the route and saw that he would be stopping at Hiroshima. One of the most apocalyptic acts of the 20 Century had taken place here and he could never have imagined that he would be in the city where this terrible crime against humanity had happened, where 90% of the city was destroyed and 80,000 murdered. Of course, born only 15 years after August 1945, he had grown up in the shadow of the bomb, and the very real fear that he and friends lived with had grown from the now revived city he was passing briefly through. The world had changed, people had seen what devastation it caused, and though the threat exists, it seems just a threat. No one surely would ever be brave enough, crazy enough to unleash its power again. Surely? All these thoughts ran through his mind as he emotionally unpicked the feelings seeing the name ‘Hiroshima’ on the station board brought to the surface. It took less than 3 hours to get him to Osaka and on his arrival it was raining. He remembered that Harvey had been in Osaka the previous year and having taken a train to Tokyo from the same station, Nicholas fancied he sensed the Quirke DNA commingling on the concourses. Aside from the fact that he couldn’t find a taxi stand the fact his hotel was a 10 minute walk encouraged him to follow google maps It took him a while to actually work out to get across a main road where there was no crossing. He went in the subway and then had to go back the way way he came. Of course, its always the last route one takes. He got to his hotel, checked in and then it was out. He got to the bus station and made his way to Osaka Castle. The disappointment of missing Fukuoka’s ruins still causing him to smart. He was so glad he made the effort as it was a spectacular sight. A fortress in every sense, Austere stone walls which actually looked like they could grace the facade many of the worlds Modern Art gallery’s. The castle, with its pagoda style construction, its plain simple tones offered a stark contrast to the colour and decorative flourishes favoured by the Chinese and Buddhists. Again he had the sense of being out of time, its ancient mystery such a contrast to the towering apartment and office blocks it was now dwarfed by, yet still standing proud and alone surveying and repelling the city trying to encroach and defeat it. The Dichotomy felt spine tingling. In a rare moment his schedule coincided with Harvey’s and he excitedly had the opportunity to share a common experience. He made his way back to the station and the malls there to get some glasses Peng had recommended he buy to help with hay-fever. He suddenly felt completely fatigued, so much so he couldn’t find the energy to get some food and made his way back to the hotel, realising that since his lunch on the train he had not eaten or had a drink. 10 hours with only culture and the sights of the city to feed him. The 7/11 provided the sustenance he needed to get him through the remainder of the night.

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