Just got back from work, am having dinner now as I type up this post…
Look at my awesome dinner that I got from LIVIN for tonight!!!!
Nah, I’m just kidding. I can’t eat that much in one meal. But I love shopping at LIVIN (a huge 24 hr supermarket 8 mins away), there’s a MUJI and Daiso right across too! It’s just really convenient, one day I will definitely write another post on my neighbourhood. I bought so many onigiri because they are 1. super easy breakfast 2. they are 50% off (33 yen)!! And I finally see my all time fav flavor- Umeboshi (梅干)! So yeah, I also bought a pack of eggs (not shown in picture) since I was craving for sunny side ups… I just realize though, I have no cooking oil at home!!! OK, too bad.. these eggs will either be boiled or cooked together with my instant noodles.
DUN DUN DUN! My actual dinner for tonight is——
OK, the bento really doesn't taste good.. should've gotten another Gyuu Don (牛丼) instead.
So obviously, I did NOT make that bowl of soup… N-san made it, it’s miso soup with pumpkin and onion… tastes wayyyy better than my bento T_T
Now I get why N-san and everybody else here in Japan are sooo skinny, all she eats is a bowl of soup+ a few spoons of rice. Compare that with what I am consuming ATM… I have been eating a lot of rice in every meal, I seriously hope I don’t turn into an onigiri when I return… Veggies and fruits in Japan are crazily expensive (a melon costs 2500 yen), so I only get to eat veggies during lunch now.
Now, time to talk about my first few days of work.
On Feb 1st at 8:40 am, I met N-san outside our dorm rooms. We walked together to the bus station, it was a direct bus straight to our office on the hill… and it costs less than taking train+bus transfer. However, I take train every morning now… since there are only 3 of those buses in the morning starting from 8:22am. And I always (for the last few days at least) arrive work at around 7:40!!
The bus was packed and the entire ride+walk took around 40 minutes. As the bus drove up the hill, which was like a research park, I saw companies such as NEC, Fujitsu, KIDDI, NTT Docomo… NTT (where I work) was at the last stop, top of the hill XD The exterior of the gigantic building was black with rusting metal, too bad I didn’t think of shooting a pic. I will do so in spring when there’s cherry blossoms =)
N-san helped me get a temporary card to enter the gate. My team’s office was on 3rd floor… As I walked into the room, there were some of my colleagues circling around my new seat.
The teddy is not mine haha. I still have the welcome sign as I am not using the big monitor at the moment...
So after greeting my team members and saying よろしくお願いしますlike 50 times, I started to learn their names… They prepared me a seat location with names, but some were tough to pronounce. One guy is named Koke, but I ended up calling him “Coke” or “Cookie”. They become his nicknames now. My neighbour is M-san, she is a very very nice lady… The guy behind her is Oji-san (with accent on the “O”, not his real name btw), they say Oji means “Please”… I guess he is just a really nice guy/Yes man. I made a mistake by accenting on the “Ji” though, which has a different meaning XD
After introduction, I could finally unpack the Macbook that’s sitting on my table… Took around 1 hour to set up/install applications… after sending out an intro email, it was time for lunch already =)
To my surprise, Japanese people eat lunch as a team EVERY DAY… this is very different from North America, where we eat lunch with our buddies. For example, a few colleagues went for a meeting today… the rest of us waited for us before heading for lunch. Anyway, so we went to the restaurant for the first day (restaurant generally costs more than canteen). I ordered a healthy bento and was forced to sit at the middle of the table, where my colleagues were trying to get to know me. Sometimes they would speak and laugh in Japanese, but there’s always someone to translate for me (still, I wish I knew more Japanese). A-san paid for my lunch again (I kinda felt bad about it)!
Going back up to the office, A-san and I dealt with some logistic matters (ie. paying 500 yen for unlimited tea monthly), then we moved on to discussing my theme in this internship. To my horror, my chair somehow tripped the power cable of my Mac and the laptop completely fell off the desk! Thank god it’s a mac, so nothing seemed to break. A-san simply laughed it off, but I was sure he was sweating too. After calming down, we went up to the room where they did most of the discussion and brainstorming sessions. It was basically a room with a gigantic wall full of post-its. We chatted a bit about the process used by my team and he just told me to research more about it and come up with some ideas on how to improve it using software solutions.
This Mt. FUJI photo is taken from office window one day.... Mind you, we are only on 3rd floor.
I was focused on my work the entire time, until I saw Y-san took out her camera and snapped at the window…. It was the Fuji-san! She said that there were only about 20 days of clear skies in one year, so it’s rare to be able to catch a glimpse of mt. fuji. Time passed swiftly and soon it was 6pm… It was a Wednesday, so by company’s rule, people must leave by 6. This is due to the fact that Japanese people tend to work more than 10 hours a day. My supervisor for example, starts from 7am-beyond 8pm. I’m not sure how productive they are, but they all seem to be workaholics. Yay~ time for Welcome party.
A-san on the left and group leader on the right...
H-san and N-san, who was forced to finish off the huge bowl of sake...
We all bussed to the train station and walked into a Japanese bar… Once we sat down, waitresses started to bring in dishes, one at a time. It was a total feast, there were food that I had never tried before. I didn’t take photos.. but there was sashimi, side dishes (cheese, fish liver, some fancy looking fishy dumpling), hot pot, shrimp/oyster tempura, some seafood rice in a stone pot, etc. It was all you can drink too!! of course I meant alcohol, haha. We ordered beer, sake, shoju… BTW, it is japanese culture to pour drinks for each other. O-san, the colleague sitting next to me, was a fast drinker…. so I was pouring for him quite frequently XD It’s funny how he got drunk and started to get high… It was hilarious. Near the end of the meal, a server came in with a huge bowl of Sake, and told me to drink the first sip and passed it around the circle! Man, it just felt awesome to drink cold Sake after hot spicy Shoju. We sorta ranked each other by how much we could drink, turned out the best drinkers were the ladies… they owned the top three =) We stayed till around 9pm, a few stuck around for more drinks… but the rest of us took the train home. I was not drunk, but it still felt good after a shower and hopped right into my bed.
Day 4 (Feb 2nd). Second work day
Second day at work… woke up at 6 and got to work at 7:45. continued my research on the process. There were so many papers on that topic… For lunch we went to cafeteria, which was cheaper. And I like how they have a electronic system to pay for lunch. There are rechargeable lunch cards… and after finishing, we had to put our trays for a scan, the system will display the price to pay. And we simply insert our cards… I made a silly mistake again to drop my brand new lunch card onto my curry plate! Haha. Later in the day, I also met MA(another canadian student working here) for the first time.
Chuo at night.
After work, I took the train back home but couldn’t find my way so I went to Yokosuka Chuo again! It’s just right though, I asked cellular stores about sim cards and had dinner at beef bowl place for 280 yen only. I also took the opportunity to visit 100 yen store again…
Day 5 (Feb 3rd). Looking forward to weekend!
Work was pretty much the same, brainstorming ideas and trying to come up with some requirements. After work however, I met up with MA and Nasan-San (his name just makes me lol) to hang out around Chuo. They brought me to this plaza (which was 5 mins away from Chuo) which I didn’t know of, and we went to Ootoka for dinner… Damn, those guys were more than fluent in Japanese! It made me feel ashamed…. Japanese people are usually surprised hearing them speak Jap (since they are non-asians), and I bet Japanese are equally surprised when hearing me speak… they are probably thinking “is this girl retarded? She can’t even speak properly.” Anyhow, I had to leave at 9 though since A-san was going to drop off the microwave+water boiler at my dorm. That night I slept early to get ready for my adventure at Yokohama over the weekend! Stay tuned~
What I ordered.... some weird fish which I believed was Tuna.
Phew, Part II is complete! Off to shower and streaming a couple dramas now =)
Before I forget, here are the answers to iV’s questions in her long comment.
1. No, I’m too poor/cheap to be sitting first class (or even business class per se). Take JAL if you can, it’s good food, good service =P
2. The panda documentary caught my eye because the show talked about how they mate (I’m not a pervert, but how often do you see pandas actually MOVE?). It’s in Jap with Chinese subtitle… so at least now I know how to say panda in japanese– say “PAN-DA”.
3. The temperature here is around the same as Vancouver, with MUCH less rain =)
4. There is no train/bus from where I live to Yokosuka Chuo, because it is technically 15 mins walk away… Another thing is transit cost in Japan just burns your money away, I charged my PASMO card (similar to Octopus card in HK) with 2000 yen on saturday, and today when I got off work, it’s NEGATIVE balance… go figure!
5. LMAO the “choice” of other drink is actually what I bought at the airport the day before (costs 250 yen btw, and I bought 2 bento boxes for around the same price tonight).