Mount Fuji. Taken with my laoya mobile phone camera, from the 37th storey of the hotel where we did our study.
Erm, you need to use a bit of imagination.. and put on your 6/6 eyesight, specs, contact lens, whatever. It’s right in the background, the very small white triangle.
Tokyo is an amazing city.
So far I have learnt 3 things:
1. Brisk walking. I mean, really brisk walking. Almost like running. With everyone else doing that, it’s difficult not to try to keep up.
2. Nodding. Basically you have to nod at the end of every sentence. For long sentences, please nod at where the punctuation mark should be.
3. Bowing. At least twice, or keep bowing until the person you are bowing to gets out of sight. The degree of your bow is directly proportionate to the level of your appreciation.
Had fun taking the train too. If you think the MRT is crowded, the trains here are, well, even more crowded? Haha.
JB says 2 million people use the Shinjuku station everyday. That’s half of Singapore’s population! It’s really quite crazy.
I am still quite dumb and clumsy when it comes to putting on and taking off the coat, scarf and gloves, outdoors and indoor.
My very nice colleagues would go, “S*** Wee, please-su.” And then they’d help me arrange my scarf or coat so that I am properly covered. Haha.
It is seriously too cold on the streets and too warm in the trains and buildings.
I used to dislike the after-work dinner occasions with co-workers.
Of course it was not because I hated them or anything; they are basically nice people. It was just that I really didn’t know what to say to them, what to talk about, and it really eats into my personal time.
But a few business trips later, I’m beginning to think that it is sometimes quite enjoyable. It is quite amazing when you go out for dinner with four or five other colleagues, and then realise that all of you are of different nationalities and background.
I never thought I would have the chance to have shabu-shabu – which is something like our steamboat – with the Japanese colleagues, and actually enjoy the food and conversation.
Before last night, I have only seen 蜡笔小新 having shabu-shabu and making 妮妮’s mom very angry because he steals all the meat and leaves nothing for her. Haha.
I feel strangely calm and at peace over here.
Perhaps it is because I do not really understand what people are saying here – I only understand numbers and time, which really doesn’t have much meaning when you do not know the context – and it doesn’t really bother me.
I took the train alone today and found my way back to the hotel in one piece (ok, many pieces actually, haha, many pieces of clothing) with my very private-limited knowledge of the language.
First, I couldn’t find the correct exit that’d lead me to the hotel. So I went to the station master and said my hotel name in Japanese, which essentially sounds like English; you just have to add a vowel at the end of every word? Haha. And he told me, West-to. Haha.
I got out of the West exit and was happy to find that everything looked pretty familiar; I just had to find the correct point where I could see my hotel from afar, in a straight line.
I happened to bump into this policewoman (or at least she is dressed like one) who was holding on to a map of that area (so do they station the police on the streets to give directions?). I pointed to the map and asked her, “Ko ko wa, do-ko desu ka?” I.E. where am I now, according to this map?
“Ko ko” means here, “Do-ko” means where. I don’t even care whether I am grammatically correct. Haha. 95% of communication is body language anyway. :P
And I managed to find my way back without much hassle. Hehe. So proud of myself.
I am beginning to think about how it is like to live and work abroad.
Maybe not in Japan, maybe I can start off somewhere where language is not a barrier.
Like Taiwan? Though I think I might end up watching the TV till 2am every night. Haha.
Then again, I am such a lazy person and this would probably be just a fleeting thought.