Yet another weekend

It’s not like I don’t have anything to write about that’s happened over the week. It’s just that you don’t read this blog to hear that sashimi is delicious . . . again. I’ve told you that. Things have sort of gotten into a rut. But that’s good. I wouldn’t want to come home only to be brutally slaughtered out of feelings of pent up jalousy.

So other than living in Tokyo. Yes, yes, I know. Thank you, too kind. Well if you insist, maybe I do deserve this honour.

Euhm, where was I
Oh yeah, last weekend I made my way through Japan in a manner more fitting my station than how I have been getting around lately. I left the nightbus for what it was and shinkansenned to Osaka. I was there to meet with some people of the company I will be working for (Note to self: You are not here JUST for your own pleasure, try to keep that in mind). There’s a short version and a long version of what transpired that day. I will start with the short version.

My dorm SUCKS
Big Hairy Donkey-balls.
CRAP

It’s not that the walls are pink . . . . of the ENTIRE building.
It’s not that I’ll be living in a structure closely resembling the hotel from “The Shining”.
I’m sure I’ll have lovely neighbours
It’s not even the hour-and-a-half I’ll be spending getting from my dorm to my work
Nor the hour-and-a-half I’ll be spending getting back

It’s that I’ll end up spending €3000 on the fucking public transport getting me there every day.
Add on top of that that I’ll be eating during this time (A luxury, I know) And that’s all my money.

The euhm . . . company people are really nice though. The town I’m living in seems equally nice. But the money I’ll have to spend . . . oh bog.

‘Course, it’s not as bad as all that. I can cut out the bus costs of about 7 months by buying a bike (They’re quite cheap here) and I can get a monthly pass, which cuts down on the costs some (I’ll have to see how much exactly). And in the pink building I’ll have my own fridge.

OK, I see how one could read that and frown slightly, but the Gajin have their own fridges in their room whereas the Japanese (and there’s a lot of Japanese living there) will have to share . . . . 1 fridge. One. Singular. Hundreds of Japanese . . . One fridge. I’d like to see that in action.

About what my internship is going to be about. Well, this is as good a place as any to tell you that I won’t tell you. I signed a secrecy clause and that means you’re not allowed to know. niener niener niener.
No, but seriously: We’ll discuss my project come Januari. I will have 6 weeks or so to set stuff up while they acquaint me with their technology and methods. I work for a small R&D company within Mitsubishi Electric called Switchgear Insulation Technologies (or something to that extent). I’ll leave you in google’s capable hands for you to find out what switchgears are. There’s 22 people running around and we get to use our lab and stuff from around the rest of the company grounds (and there’s a couple of thousand people working in the rest of the compound so that’s a lot of toys to play with) if we need to test in that environment/on that piece of equipment. They do R&D and some accreditation, so they do some KEMA stuff.

Anyway, who am I to waste a free ride on just a company visit.

Oh, haven’t I mentioned that yet? The shinkansen was covered by the EU Centre.
So anyway, I took a train to Kyoto. Met up with the Fair Maiden and cristopher, who as of yet has not received an affectionate nickname. And we ventured forward into Kyoto.

Well, that is to say, the Fair Maiden had taken the nightbus to Kyoto and walked all day, I’d had a rather exhausting day and Christopher was in equally high spirits. So we slept . . . . and the next day we ventured bravely into Kyoto.
A point of interrest is that we stayed at a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese Inn’ish thing. I haven’t done the picture upload thing yet but I’m pretty sure I completely forgot to take any pictures of the room.

Kyoto is known for many things:
It’s history as nations capital
It’s Temples
The other Temples
The colour of the turning leaves
A specific bunch of temples
The old imperial Palace
The old Geisha district
And some temples scattered through the city.

There’s some nice walks through and around Kyoto, but as the weather was kind of shitty on saturday we didn’t do any of that and we went to see . . . . hmmmmm, let’s see. Oh yeah: temples. The highlight of the day was the Nijo-jo though. A former palace of someone or other. ( really, you’re not in Japan, if I called him Shogun Keessie would you really mind?) The gardens were nice, the structure itself was quite impressive, and especially the nightingale floors had us discussing how that would work exactly.

Though we managed to lose Christopher halfway through the afternoon he was not that easily gotten rid of. Doomed to spend the weekend as a group of 3. During his absence we did manage a relaxing Onsen (you all remember what an onsen is right? I’ve mentioned it twice already. It’s a natural hotspring/spa thingy). I got to talk with the old naked wrinkly Americans about gardening and the Fair Maiden got to speak with their wives. Also I tried speaking Japanese with someone, but my vocabulary limits my choice of subject severely and I always seem to end up speaking about windmills, tulips and Andy Sawa. That gets kind of old after a while. We spent the evening strolling about the geisha district but saw nothing but (very nice)old buildings and a lot of tourists. No Geishas 🙁

Sunday was spent walking the philosophers walk. A good chance to reflect on your life while enjoying a nice walk. An excellent place for breakthroughs. I had one . . . or several, but as soon as you leave the walk the breakthroughs leave you. It’s a zen thing I suppose.
We saw some truely excellent Temples Sunday, and the weather made that I got some really nice pictures. (They’ll be up soon). The turning of the leaves has only just started, so we saw only a little bit of red but one can see why Kyoto is famous for it. If oyu find yourself in the neighbourhood in a week or 2 a visit is well worth it.
Nishiki market was next on the list. A place where you can buy most of everything you will ever find on a Japanese menu. The smells and tastes were intoxicating and some of the food was so fresh it still moved. No, seriously: they kill the some of the things in front of your eyes.

The time to leave was already upon us unfortunataly. A mere shinkansen ride away Tokyo awaited us, and if I’d read my schedule a little bit more thoroughly (or at all) I’d known I was racing towards a test. Goody. But as I didn’t know that, I got to end the weekend on a high note 😛

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Quote of the day:

But I don’t know anything about doing that!

Ah, but this morning you had no experience at all of being dead, and yet, but for my intervention you would nevertheless have turned out to be very good at it

4 responses to “Yet another weekend”

  1. aelle says:

    If windmills and gouda get tiring, try pretending you’re French, you’ll get to talk about Jidan. I hear you have some experience at that already, and it might even be more convincing with your current hairstyle.

  2. Jen says:

    so pink building huh….. Now that other thing doesn’t seem so pink to you anymore huh :p

  3. wallynes says:

    Wow, that’s a pretty obscure reference even for you. . . .

    For those of you that don’t know what she’s talking about. Some 2 years ago . . . or something I was on the receiving end of this present

  4. Jen says:

    Well you know, you could’ve just left it obscure and not post the picture as well!!

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